Democrats in Congress are calling for a nationwide ruling that requires all states to allow mail-in-voting for the 2020 elections. However, due to the fact that the Senate is controlled by Republicans, there is already a heated partisan battle over the matter. It will most likely come down to the decision of individual states and smaller courts.
The Left is generally in favor of voting by mail. Currently, Democrats believe that a national emergency gives governors the authority to implement such necessary measures for public health reasons. In Texas, where such measures are being disputed, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said it would be “…wrong to force the people of Texas to choose between their health and their right to vote.” Democrats also believe that states will need more than the currently allocated $400 million in federal funds – more like $4 billion – in order to have the staffing and resources needed to process the increased mail-in votes. Mail-in-voting measures have been labeled a top priority by the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Contrary to this viewpoint, there are some Democrats who believe all-mail voting will disfavor African-American and Latino voters, who tend to vote Democrat.
Republicans are likely to push against this measure, especially if it were to be implemented by state governors who tout “national emergency” powers. Those on the Right tend to be leerier of mail-in-voting and believe it is likely to increase voter fraud. Oregon Rep. Greg Walden (R) argues that trying to mandate all-mail voting this close to elections won’t give states enough time to implement necessary precautionary measures, a move which he says would be “…really dangerous, frankly, for the electoral integrity and the outcome of the election.” Despite many Republicans’ hesitancy to jump on board for vote-by-mail measures, others are working tirelessly to rally support for it. One Republican member in favor of mail-in-voting noted, “We have to overcome our instinctive hesitation and become more effective at it,” adding that if they fail to do so, it could cost them the election. Some think that voting-by-mail already benefits Republican voters. “The mail voters tend to be the most Republican out of all the different options that you have for voting,” said Micah McDonald, who is an elections expert and political science professor at the University of Florida.