“There is justified concern that Democratic-leaning voters may be disadvantaged through vote-by-mail systems,” said Brian Dunn, an Obama campaign alumnus who is a founder of Deliver My Vote, which encourages voters to sign up to receive mail ballots at home in states that allow it. “People like caregivers, gig-sector employees or those working multiple jobs may not update their address as they move, causing them to lose their ability to vote safely and easily.”
This concern emerged recently during deliberations by the Maryland Board of Elections over whether to conduct the state’s June 2 primary entirely by mail.
The board decided to keep a limited number of polling places open after Democratic legislative leaders, in a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, objected to an all-mail format, raising concerns about its potential impact on black voters.
“Most vote-by-mail states are overwhelmingly white,” the letter said, then cited a 2011 study sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts that found mandatory voting by mail reduced the chances that a person would vote, particularly among urban voters, who were 50 percent less likely to vote in an all-mail election.
Why are some Republicans eager to adopt vote-by-mail?
Despite Mr. Trump’s opposition, there is ample Republican support for transitioning to mail elections.
In Ohio, the state’s top Republican officials, Gov. Mike DeWine and Frank LaRose, the secretary of state, recorded a video this week promoting the state’s first all-mail elections later this month.
“I reject this notion that I think comes from days gone by, when people say it’s not good for Republicans when there’s high turnout,” Mr. LaRose said in an interview on Thursday. “The highest turnout presidential election we ever had was 2016. The highest turnout gubernatorial election we ever had was 2018.”
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/us/politics/vote-by-mail.html