Republican States Quietly Expanding Mail-In Voting Despite National Right-Wing Rhetoric
Even as President Donald Trump voices concerns about mail-in voting, some red states are accepting the inevitable amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, Democrats are starting to take steps toward moving its national nominating convention online.
Ignoring Trump And Right-Wing Think Tanks, Red States Expand Vote By Mail
On April 23, during the same week that Kentucky’s Republican secretary of state said he was contemplating a “significant expansion” of vote by mail, the Public Interest Legal Foundation emailed one of his employees under the subject line “28 MILLION ballots lost.” “Putting the election in the hands of the United States Postal Service would be a catastrophe,” wrote J. Christian Adams, president of PILF, a conservative organization that has long complained about voter fraud. His missive contended, with scant evidence, that “twice as many” mailed ballots “disappeared” in the 2016 presidential election than made up the margin of votes between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Huseman and Spies, 5/12)
The Associated Press:
Trump Casts Doubt On Mail Voting. His Campaign Promotes It.
While President Donald Trump claims mail-in voting is ripe for fraud and “cheaters,” his reelection campaign and state allies are scrambling to launch operations meant to help their voters cast ballots in the mail. Through its partnership with the Republican National Committee, Trump’s campaign is training volunteers on the ins and outs of mail-in and absentee voting and sending supporters texts and emails reminding them to send in their ballots. (Riccardi, 5/12)
The Associated Press:
Democrats Set To Take Next Steps Toward Virtual Convention
Democrats are making new moves toward a virtual presidential nominating convention this August, with party officials preparing to grant convention organizers in Milwaukee the authority to design an event that won’t require delegates to attend in person amid the coronavirus pandemic. A top party official discussed the plans ahead of Tuesday’s virtual meeting of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss moves that still require approval by the committee and the DNC’s 447 members. (Barrow and Ohlemacher, 5/11)
Democrats To Adopt Rules For Limited Or Virtual Convention
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is set to pass rules Tuesday allowing delegates to cast their vote for the party's nominee by mail, allowing for the possibility of a remote or limited in-person convention this summer. A DNC official confirmed to The Hill that the changes are set to be passed at a remote meeting of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws committee on Tuesday, the first sign that the DNC is moving towards alternate plans for this summer's convention. (Bowden, 5/11)
Democrats Developing Contingency Plans For Remote Convention
When the DNC's rules and bylaws committee meets by conference call on Tuesday, it will take up a resolution that would change official proceedings "so as to safeguard the ability of all validly-elected Convention delegates to participate in the Convention in person or by means that allow for appropriate social distancing." (Khalid, 5/11)
Warren Warns Coronavirus 'Poses A Threat To Free And Fair Elections'
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday warned that the COVID-19 pandemic poses a threat to “free and fair elections,” as experts cautioned that states are running out of time to prepare to hold elections during the crisis. “Coronavirus poses a threat to free and fair elections. But we can fix that,” Warren tweeted. “We need vote by mail. We need online and same-day registration. We need early voting and extended voting hours. We need real money for governments to administer elections safely.” (Miller, 5/11)
California Special Election Provides Early Snapshot Of Socially Distanced Campaigning
The first competitive congressional race of the coronavirus era takes place Tuesday in Southern California, where Republican Mike Garcia and Democrat Christy Smith are vying to fill the vacancy left by former Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned last year because of a personal scandal. The winner will serve out Hill's current term through November, when the same two candidates will be on the ballot again for a full two-year term. (Davis, 5/12)