Why Do Republicans Hate Vote-By-Mail?

Neal Waters/ZUMA

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More threats from our hydroxychloroquine-addled commander-in-chief:

President Trump escalated his criticism of voting by mail, threatening to withhold federal funding from Michigan after the state announced plans to send applications for absentee ballots to all registered voters ahead of primary and general elections due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly complained about voting by mail, tweeted Wednesday: “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!” He also inaccurately said the state was sending out absentee ballots, rather than applications.

….Mr. Trump has often threatened to withhold funds from cities or states over policy differences without following through. It wasn’t immediately clear what funds he could hold up. The recent stimulus funding designed to provide states with coronavirus support is already law.

The weird thing about all this is that vote-by-mail doesn’t really favor either party. Republicans are petrified at the thought of all-mail elections, but it’s not clear why. Just tradition, I guess, since Republicans are always opposed to anything that might make voting easier. If they were smart, they’d get on the vote-by-mail bandwagon and then put some of their impressive voter suppression brainpower to work on how to use this to their advantage. There’s gotta be a way, right?

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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