Antoinette and Lucas explore why making vote-by-mail accessible to all is so important in the age of COVID-19, and what we need to do to make it happen.
Before diving into mail-in voting, we introduce a new feature: Oh This Small World, occasional five-minute bonus episodes we'll release on days we don't record. You can check out the first one here.
We also have a special call to action for our friends in #TX21. On Wednesday, May 6, Rep. Chip Roy - who failed to advocate for ramped-up testing in Texas and now wants to re-open widely with zero plan to increase said testing - will be sitting for an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith. The Tribune is offering the public the chance to submit questions and we know you have some. You can do so here.
We also briefly discuss Chip's strange foray into astroturfing. For everything you ever wanted to know about that unfortunate subject, check out our fifth episode, Astroturfin' U.S.A.
Our main topic today is the necessity of implementing vote-by-mail in this age of Coronavirus. Antoinette leads our deep-dive here, quickly dispelling GOP misinformation about "voter fraud," which is both their key argument against vote-by-mail and something that is virtually nonexistent. (The only recent instance of it came courtesy of... a Republican operative).
Rather, the GOP perpetuates the lie that vote fraud is widespread to validate their own attempts at voter suppression.
Despite GOP resistance, the idea of vote-by-mail is wildly popular. Antoinette looks at both its advantages and some of the challenges states may have in implementing it. She also references this interesting piece by Greg Palast about the brokenness of our current absentee ballot system. We also look at what is happening in Texas, where our indicted Attorney General/pen thief Ken Paxton is doing everything he can to stop vote-by-mail.
What can you do?
1. Call you Senators and demand a vote on the USPS Fairness Act, because if there is no post office, there is no vote by mail. We covered the USPS Fairness Act here.
2. Call your Congressperson and ask them to include full USPS funding and $4 billion for vote-by-mail funding in the next coronavirus relief bill.
3. Texans: call the Attorney General's office and call the Secretary of State and tell them you support vote-by-mail and that it is necessary during this pandemic.
This episode was recorded on Monday, May 4, 2020.