Mail-in voting sparks controversy

Kia Harlan | Banner

On Election Day, Nov. 3, the American people voted to decide the identity of the most powerful political figure in the America. But in a global pandemic, many did not want to to vote in person because of the risk of  exposure to COVID-19, so they used the mail-in voting system put in place instead. 

President Donald J. Trump shared his opinion on the new form of mail-in voting in tweets for months, saying mail-in voting was rife with fraud. Trump tweeted on July 30 saying that the November election would be the most “inaccurate and fraudulent election in history.”

Later, in a Sept. 23 news conference, Trump called ballot-casting in 2020 a “disaster.” The same day, he spoke in the Oval Office, claiming the election is so unbalanced that the Supreme Court would have to decide the outcome. 

“I think this is a scam that the Democrats are pulling — it’s a scam — this scam will be before the United States Supreme Court,”  Trump said.

On Sept. 29, Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden spoke on the issue during their first presidential debate. Biden dismissed Trump’s accusations. He maintained that there is no objective evidence for fraud that may influence the outcome of the election.

“(Trump’s position) is all about trying to dissuade people from voting,” Biden said. “He’s trying to scare people into thinking that (the election) is not going to be legitimate.”

Dr. Chase Porter, assistant professor of political science, said he believes that the spread of the population and small chance of fraud most likely
will render this election safe, despite voting from home.

Porter said he would rather have an accurate election than a timely one.

“With so many people involved, and so many voters involved, inevitably there’s going to be issues of voter fraud,” Porter said. “Be careful if we see isolated reports of voter fraud stories, that doesn’t mean that we have some kind of nationwide issue that is actually impacting the outcome of the election.”

Audrey Currie, sophomore pre-nursing student, said she was adamant about physically showing up to the polls, and said she believes both candidates have political gain or loss based on how people vote.

“For me personally, I want to exercise my right to vote so I’m going to do so in person,” Currie said. “I believe that’s the best way to show my American pride — as a woman, too — is to get out there and vote in person.”

Nick Desanto, sophomore engineering major, said he does not believe Trump will challenge the results if he loses the election.

“You see this in politics all the time,” Desanto said. “People try to come up with excuses for why things may or may not go their way, and I think he
sees that he is not doing as well as Biden is in the polls and is trying to come up with half-reasonable solutions as to why he may lose the election.”

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