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Should Mail-In ballots be banned in the 2020 US Elections? Show more Show less
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In 2018, 25% of Americans who voted, voted by mail. In 2020, these numbers are projected to be even higher with the Covid-19 pandemic still raging in the US. But the use of mail ballots in the November 2020 presidential election has become a point of contestation. President Trump has argued on Twitter that mail in ballots should not be used in the presidential election. Others claim mail-in voting is secure and increases turn-out and fear Trump's position is part of a longer game to discredit the election results.

Yes, mail-in ballots should be banned in the 2020 US Elections. Show more Show less

Current President Donald Trump and his followers have openly advocated for the banning of mail in ballots in the 2020 elections for a variety of (unsubstantiated) reasons.
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Mail-in ballots go missing

Vote-in-person advocacy groups often claim that mail-in voting ballots are likely to go missing. They give a figure of 28 million mail-in ballots missing in the last four elections.

The Argument

Vote-in-person advocacy groups often claim that mail-in voting ballots are likely to go missing. They cite data from the Federal Election Assistance Commission that between 2012 and 2018, 28.3 million mail-in ballots have remained unaccounted for.[1] The President of the United States supported and championed the missing ballot narrative. He believes that the 2020 election is going to be disastrous because mail-in ballots will be lost and found in discarded piles.[2] A substantial number of ballots never make it into the hands of election officials. Often there are never clear reasons why these ballots never reached the proper destination. Because state and local authorities cannot provide concrete explanations for what became of these ballots, the logical explanation is that they got misplaced in the convoluted system that is voting by mail. The millions of unaccounted for mail-in ballots justify the argument that mail-in ballots should be banned for the 2020 U.S. Elections.

Counter arguments

The number of mail-in ballots cited as "missing" by vote-in-person advocacy groups is false and very misleading. These groups use the word “missing” to describe ballots that were mailed out to voters but not cast by these voters. Uncast ballots do not equate to missing ballots. If we equated uncast ballots to missing ballots, then over 250 million votes not cast by in-person Election Day voters from 2012 to 2018 are also “missing.”[3] This classification is not true. The argument that millions of mail-in ballots go missing relies on misconstrued language and data. Vote-in-person advocacy groups rely on a wide definition of “missing” to promote the claim that mail-in ballots go missing. Rather, the mail-in voting system works in the United States and has worked for decades.[4]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/05/01/group_threatens_lawsuits_amid_covid_mail-in_push_143084.html
  2. https://www.newsweek.com/trump-says-20-percent-mail-ballots-are-lost-post-office-1525360
  3. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/05/06/there_were_not_28_million_missing_mail-in_ballots_143123.html
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/article/Vote-by-mail.html

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 01:53 UTC

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