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< Back to question Should Mail-In ballots be banned in the 2020 US Elections? Show more Show less

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.

No, mail-in ballots should not be banned in the 2020 US Presidential elections. Show more Show less

Proponents of mail in ballots often cite voter safety and increased turnout. They claim voting-by-mail is necessary to give everyone a voice during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Mail-In ballots are necessary to ensure that everyone can vote safely

In the face of a nationwide COVID-19 pandemic, Mail-in voting is the only way to ensure Americans' constitutional rights without a risk to their lives or health.
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The Argument

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, there is no choice but to allow everyone to vote by absentee ballots. Traditional in-person voting is not possible this year without putting lives and livelihoods at risk, given the small enclosed spaces, long crowded lines, and shortage of poll workers. The US electoral system needs to evolve to reflect the new world we find ourselves in. The virus that causes COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze.[1] If voters were to vote in person on election day, the likelihood that they could avoid people doing these actions is slim. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. [1] If people are voting in person and using the voting machines, they may very well be touching a surface that has respiratory droplets that carry the virus. COVID-19 affects all communities, but it disproportionately affects the elderly, people with preexisting conditions, those with disabilities, and people of color. [2] Without mail-in voting, these communities who are already at high risk for getting the virus would subject themselves to even more danger without mail-in voting.

Counter arguments

Opponents to mail-in voting argue that everyone can stay safe while voting in person if they follow the proper CDC guidelines. They say that if masks truly work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, then the use of masks will ensure that everyone will be safe when voting in person. They say that if people wear masks, practice social distancing at the polling sites, and avoid crowding, then voting in person should pose no real threat to anyone's health nor increase the risk of spreading or getting the virus.

Premises

[P1] Large crowds and long wait times on election day at polling sites will increase the risk of the spread of COVID-19. [P2] Communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-10 will be putting their health and safety at risk by voting in person.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents


References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/election-polling-locations.html
  2. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/news/2020/05/14/485072/states-embrace-vote-mail-early-voting-protect-higher-risk-populations-coronavirus/

This page was last edited on Sunday, 6 Sep 2020 at 19:13 UTC

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