To avoid election chaos, states must move up mail ballot processing
Last week I found myself in the unsettling position of agreeing with Sen. Bernie Sanders. His call for states to begin processing and counting mail ballots as they arrive could help save our country from an electoral Doomsday scenario.
As a lifelong conservative, I usually I associate Sanders with the fabled crotchety old uncle who arrives for Thanksgiving. He believes disdain and anger are substitutes for well-reasoned argument. You can fill a BINGO card full of the nutty stuff he will say in any given tangent.
Yet Sanders’ point about mail ballots seems to be the star in the middle we should all have on our cards.
Due to a combination of COVID concerns and tremendous enthusiasm surrounding the presidential ballot, Americans will turn in tens of millions of mail ballots over the next six weeks. In several states – including battlegrounds North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Florida – ballots have already been sent and are being returned.
President Donald Trump has railed against the mail ballot process, one that has been in place for more than 150 years and to which he has availed himself on multiple occasions, for being rampant with fraud. He has called for the election to be delayed and refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power after the election.
As I have written before, his arguments are utter nonsense. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to that conclusion a few days ago. Nonetheless, they are an integral part of his plan to “destroy democracy.”
The danger our country does face, though, is a prolonged wait for election results if states do not begin processing and counting mail ballots upon receipt. That failure would have massive ramifications for both this election and arguments over its integrity.