In Congress, Democrats are pushing for expanded vote-by-mail to help states avoid a Wisconsin-like FUBAR in November. But for anyone naïve enough to imagine that the country would find a good-faith, common-sense, bipartisan solution for the challenges to election integrity posed by the pandemic, what is happening in Wisconsin should be sobering.
Trump himself is set to lead the effort to block pandemic-era reforms, claiming that mail ballots would encourage fraud. Of course he will be able to rally his base behind this idea. Belief in massive voter fraud is a founding part of the Trump mythos, which insists that despite losing the popular vote in 2016 by 3 million votes, he would have won it if not for voter fraud.
Less overt, but equally deep, is the belief that more people voting is bad for Republicans. As always, Trump has been willing to say the quiet part out loud. Last week on Fox & Friends he claimed the Democrats had a plan “that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
So, expect a scorched earth campaign to block the reforms.
Politico reports that Republican opposition to mail-in balloting is so adamant that the issue “may be a sticking point to any relief package as the U.S. faces mass unemployment and a plummeting economy.”