Editorial: President is wrong on vote-by-mail

Editorial: President is wrong on vote-by-mail

  • 0

President Donald Trump is wrong on vote-by-mail — and on behalf of all Americans, let’s hope he isn’t literally dead wrong come November.

In Wisconsin on Tuesday, thousands of voters waited in long lines and braved overcrowded polling stations to cast their ballots in the state’s presidential primary election, the Associated Press documented.

These citizens were willing to put their health on the line and take a small but very real chance of death to participate in democracy. The election, as we're all well aware, took place in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Again, the prospect of death for Wisconsin voters on Tuesday, though slim, wasn’t hyperbole. Data available on Wednesday showed that the virus had killed 92 people in the state at that point.

This week, Trump called vote-by-mail “horrible” and “corrupt.” Nevermind that he himself votes by mail.

This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, that Trump has said something without the benefit of supporting evidence due to political motivation. His ill-advised comments on coronavirus and COVID-19, as well as his lack of initial action to combat the pandemic, may very well cost him the presidency, as we’ve stated before.

We hope that the virus will fade in the late spring, disappear in the summer and never return. But we also know there’s a chance that there will be aftershocks of COVID-19, much like what happened with the Spanish flu a century ago, and that the illness could return in force to disrupt our lives again with colder weather this fall, perhaps as we’re getting ready to cast our ballots in the general election.

Thankfully, we live in Oregon, a state where the elections process is looking better and better as a model for the nation to adopt.

Vote-by-mail was approved by Oregon voters in 1998, and we’re proud that the father of the practice in our state was former Linn County Clerk Del Riley. We can mail in our ballots or drop them in a secure box in the weeks before an election, so we don’t risk our safety by lining up to get into cramped polling places on Election Day. Plus, there’s a paper ballot, which provides for greater election security in an era when electronic polling machines can be hacked.

There is no evidence of organized voter fraud in Oregon or other states that exclusively use vote-by-mail.

The issue of vote-by-mail isn’t political in Oregon, and it doesn’t always break down along typical liberal vs. conservative lines elsewhere, either. Utah, a state that’s as red as a Utes football helmet, is a vote-by-mail stronghold.

Current Linn County Clerk Steve Druckenmiller holds conservative political views, but he believes in tearing down barriers to voting. For Druckenmiller, it's a simple matter of allowing citizens to exercise a fundamental right with as few obstacles as possible.

“I opposed vote-by-mail when I came to work for Del Riley. I had the same concerns that I heard the president expressing, and I certainly understand them. … I know all the positive things about vote-by-mail now that I didn’t know then. It’s a matter of learning about it and the education component of it,” Druckenmiller said.

Today, Druckenmiller is a champion of vote-by-mail. “I’ve done more of it than anybody in the United States. It’s so accurate. It’s so good for the voters,” he said.

Druckenmiller thinks the president would change his tune if he could talk with the people who conduct vote-by-mail elections. “I’m sorry to see it become a political football,” he added.

In Oregon, it's remarkably easy to vote, and the process is secure. That's how it should be across the rest of the United States.

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Imagine if you killed somebody on your job, and all you got that day was fired. You go into work the next day, return the keycard you swipe every morning when you get on the elevator, pack the things from your desk, toss out whatever food you have in the pantry refrigerator and say goodbye to your co-workers before two security guards escort you out of the building. And, let's just say this ...

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that's orbiting the Earth with two U.S. astronauts is the picture of New Space Age glamour. It's a sleek, stylish commercially made capsule that's destined to be featured beside Italian sports cars in future design textbooks. Just don't tell that to Elon Musk, SpaceX's chief executive and chief designer. "Is a Ferrari more reliable than a Toyota Corolla or a ...

A racist civic sculpture celebrating white supremacy was taken down off its pedestal on Tuesday in Alexandria, Va. The action, dramatic and long overdue, represents a sliver of light piercing the current gloom. The bronze figure of a lone Confederate soldier, positioned to face due south, had stood for 131 years in the city's historic core, just seven short miles from the White House and eight ...

I am a proud American, and I am having trouble breathing in the country I love. Even though the Declaration of Independence stated that Americans have the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, these are realities for some yet remain out of reach for far too many. As the father of two black teenage boys, I had "the talk" with my oldest son, prompted after I was ...

This is a solemn and challenging time in the life of our nation and world. A remorseless, invisible enemy threatens the elderly and vulnerable among us - and some of the healthiest, too. It challenges our sense of safety, security and community. Our children are separated from their teachers and their friends in a way that is hard for them to understand. Many have lost loved ones, jobs and ...

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News