The White House is receiving criticism for opposing Democrats’ proposal for a nationalized, mass vote-by-mail program. Critics equate opposition to a complete upheaval of the current voting system to being against absentee voting all together.
Of course, the Trump Administration never indicated that the president or any member of the administration was against absentee voting, which is no new practice. Americans are entitled to vote by absentee ballots in the appropriate situations, namely while away at school or working outside of their state of residence. These practices are common and are not even remotely close to what Speaker Pelosi’s proposed vote-by-mail program would look like. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany drew this distinction:
President @realDonaldTrump is against the Democrat plan to politicize the coronavirus and expand mass mail-in voting without a reason, which has a high propensity for voter fraud.— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) May 27, 2020
This is a simple distinction that the media fails to grasp.
McEnany even received criticism for voting by mail herself, while in school at Harvard Law School and working high-profile jobs in the political sphere. But those criticizing McEnany and others for rightfully voting via absentee or mail-in ballots are proving the Trump Administration’s point: when used appropriately, and with justifiable reason, absentee voting is an important aspect of the voting process. Indeed, with proper reason, Americans are entitled to this procedure, as McEnany said on America’s Newsroom on Thursday morning:
“The president has been very clear, every American is entitled to vote the way that I did. If you are working out of state and your domicile is in a different state, you are absolutely entitled to request an absentee ballot and cast your ballot by mail,” McEnany told Ed Henry and Sandra Smith. “I am entitled to that and the average viewer is entitled to that, the president has no qualms with that. He's for absentee voters within reason. What he's not asking for is mass mailing, where automatically the state sends to all of its voter rolls a ballot.”
Those who refuse to acknowledge the distinction between McEnany and others' past absentee voting and Democrats' proposed overhaul of voting procedure completely miss the mark. Americans have the right to vote via absentee ballots in appropriate cases, but nationalizing a vote-by-mail upends procedure and opens the door to fraud, which compromises the integrity of elections.