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Vote by Mail: The Trump Problems

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Americans have been voting by mail since the Civil War and it was growing in popularity even before the pandemic. While the risk of infection for in-person voting is low if precautions are taken, poll workers do face significant risk because of repeated (hopefully) low-risk exposures. But why take needless risk when vote by mail is a proven option? Trump has expressed his opposition it—at least in some cases. He has advanced three main reasons to support his view. His first is claim that vote by mail would result in rampant voter fraud (in favor of the Democrats). While voter fraud is extremely rare, it can occur—and there are documented cases of voting fraud involving vote by mail. Ironically, the most recent (2018) case of documented voting fraud involving vote by mail ballots was committed by Republican candidate Mark Harris. While  vote by mail fraud is obviously not impossible, we have decades of data on mail-in voting—including data from five states that conduct almost all voting by mail. The overwhelming evidence is that fraud is extremely rare. Interestingly, a federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to provide proof of mail in voter fraud or admit they have no such evidence. This is a reasonable request and, if fraud is a rampant as Trump claims, there should be abundant evidence. Presumably because it has no evidence, the Trump administration has resorted to the appeal to ignorance fallacy, asserting that there is voter fraud because there is no evidence there is not voter fraud. Despite his claims, Trump votes by mail in our adopted state of Florida, as do many other Floridians. Republicans used to be the majority of those voting by mail here—but this seems to be changing in light of the pandemic and because the Democrats realized they could use Trump’s attacks against him. In response, Trump has begun claiming that Florida is a special exception and voting by mail is safe here. He initially tried claiming that he had voted using an absentee. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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