Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service: Mail voting was having a moment. Then came Trump’s false fraud claims
Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service: Mail voting was having a moment. Then came Trump's false fraud claims
For a brief time in 2020, it seemed as though the vote-by-mail movement was having a bipartisan moment.
Red and blue states that had offered the option only to a relatively small number of residents were suddenly scrambling to expand mail voting to as many people as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at polling places. Voting rights advocates saw it as a chance to educate lawmakers and voters about the long-term benefits of moving away from casting ballots in person.
Then came President Trump’s baseless allegations of widespread mail ballot fraud.
Two years later, access to mail voting looks radically different from state to state, mirroring a broad partisan divide in voting policies. …
After New York lawmakers passed legislation to put a no-excuse absentee voting measure on the ballot, voters rejected the proposed constitutional amendment in 2021. Out of 3.4 million ballots cast, 49% voted against the measure, 40% voted for it and 11% left the question blank. Voters also rejected two other election-related proposals on redistricting reform and same-day voter registration.
While Democrats did little to promote the initiatives, the state’s Republican and Conservative parties aggressively campaigned against them. The New York Conservative Party launched a “Vote No New York” campaign, which included a TV ad that stated no-excuse absentee voting has been “criticized as an invitation to fraud and a scam to rig the system.”
“It felt very much like the national effort to vilify and stop absentee voting,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, a good government advocacy group.