While President Trump tweets his fears over vote by mail, North Dakota has embraced the process. By executive order of Republican Governor Doug Burgum, the June 9th primary election will be conducted entirely by mail. ND voters have less than a week to return their mail-in ballots. We should continue to grow and improve the process, not succumb to lies and fear from certain politicians.
North Dakota currently allows “no-excuse” vote by mail. You can find that information on the Secretary of State’s website. Prior to the March 26th executive order, 33 counties in North Dakota already vote by mail. According to Secretary of State Al Jaeger, 30% of North Dakotans voted by mail in the last election.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (a fantastic source for lawmakers and the public) breaks down the advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage? Better turnout. Not only in presidential elections, but local elections. Unfortunately, higher turnout seems to be what some politicians fear the most.
Others complain about vote by mail being too casual. In other words, they worry it would be just too damn easy for people to vote! That proves those individuals would rather it be more difficult for people to exercise their right to vote in America. Convenience does go a long way. Perhaps that is why 64% of Americans support vote by mail. In the current uncertain times of the covid-19 pandemic, that convenience and peace of mind may be a necessity.
North Dakota politicians and PACs have embraced vote by mail. The above fliers reminding people of how “easy” and “essential” it is to vote by mail were sent by the Dakota Leadership PAC. If you’ve been following along, that is the PAC run by former Doug Burgum staffers. Burgum has put nearly $2 million of his personal wealth into the operation.
As I wrote above, voting by mail in North Dakota isn’t new. In fact, every election cycle candidates and political parties have been pushing more residents to vote that way. The only thing new this election is that it will be the primary way more people cast their vote. Don’t be surprised if more ND voters continue this method going forward. Voting made simple!
I interviewed Secretary of State Al Jaeger on my KFGO radio show on April 6th. Below is a clip of that interview. Also provided is my commentary on improvements that must be done about the vote by mail process in North Dakota.
It is 2020 and for some unconscionable reason, this needs to be repeated. Voting is a right. How dare people complain about efforts to allow people to exercise that right more freely. Worse, how dare politicians lie about the process to create uncertainty and doubt of election outcomes. Those that oversee the processes and the politicians – including Republican politicians in ND – need to speak out against the lies and excuses against vote by mail.