Democrats Sue in 13 States to Make ‘Voting at Home’ Mandatory

May 27, 2020 Updated: May 27, 2020

News Analysis

Democrats determined to make mail-in balloting mandatory for all Americans in November’s election are attacking electoral integrity laws across the United States in the courts in an attempt to overturn restrictions on voting-by-mail.

Apparently, calling the process voting-by-mail didn’t gain traction with the public. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told MSNBC on May 20 it will now be called “voting at home.” Voting in person is “a health issue” in the era of the pandemic, she said.

Democrats are now suing in at least 13 states to overturn restrictions on mail-in voting—and more lawsuits are promised.

Democrats and other voting-by-mail advocates claim that voters shouldn’t have to risk their physical well-being to vote and argue that mail-in voting preserves the health of both the electoral process and the electorate.

Republicans such as President Donald Trump say mail-in voting shouldn’t be expanded because it’s rife with fraud.

Trump also said Democrats are using the CCP virus as an excuse to rig the upcoming election by way of voting-by-mail. Trump pointed to the announcement on May 27 that a mail carrier in West Virginia has been charged with voter fraud related to absentee ballot requests.

The president wrote in a tweet the same day, “There is NO WAY (ZERO) that mail-in ballots will be anything less than fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”

Other Republicans say similar things, arguing that people shouldn’t be forced to vote by mail and that elections are far too important to be handled by a government agency as distrusted and maligned as the post office. Voting by mail also means balloting is no longer secret, because at least one government official has to view the voted ballot, they say.

The Republican National Committee and Trump’s reelection campaign vowed earlier this year to devote at least $10 million in 2020 to defending electoral integrity and combating Democratic efforts to loosen existing voting rules.

Mail-in voting is said to be particularly susceptible to fraud.

“The consensus among people who study fraud carefully is that voting by mail is a much more fertile area for fraud than voting in person,” Charles Stewart, a professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told National Public Radio (NPR) in 2018.

Four Pillars

The lawyer at the center of the legal push is Marc Elias of the high-powered Democratic law firm Perkins Coie.

Elias is also a major figure in the “Russiagate” conspiracy, aimed to overturn the result of the previous presidential election. A lawyer who represented the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the 2016 election cycle, Elias hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 to conduct opposition research against then-candidate Trump, The Washington Post previously reported. That research effort culminated in the salacious, discredited 35-page dossier written by former British spy Christopher Steele that purported to tie Trump to the Russian government.

Elias has a long history of successfully challenging electoral integrity programs in court. His online biography cites three of his cases in which courts struck down voter-ID laws in Missouri, Iowa, and North Carolina.

Elias wrote on the Democracy Docket website on May 24 that he is involved in litigating 16 cases in 13 states “with more coming soon.”

The lawsuits aim to enshrine what he calls the “Four Pillars to safeguarding voting rights with vote by mail,” a legal template endorsed by left-of-center activists including former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who called the pillars the “gold standard.”

Those pillars require that with voting-by-mail, “postage must be free or prepaid by the government,” “ballots mailed on or before Election Day must count,” “signature matching laws need to be reformed to protect voters,” and “community organizations should be permitted to help collect and deliver voted, sealed ballots.”

“I expect to file additional Four Pillars cases in the coming weeks and months, all aimed at protecting the right of voters to participate in elections and have their votes counted,” Elias wrote.

Language implementing the pillars has been included in the $3 trillion proposed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act that the House passed May 15, as well as in the proposed VoteSafe Act and the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, he said.

NPR reported in April that Elias had already filed more than 20 lawsuits in 14 states challenging voting procedures. “He expects that before the year is out, the number could easily double, with much of the focus on states Democrats are planning to heavily contest, such as Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin and Texas,” the report stated.

Meanwhile, Republicans are suing California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, in federal court over his unprecedented unilateral order requiring that all registered voters be sent vote-by-mail ballots for the general and presidential elections on Nov. 3, ostensibly to reduce the likelihood of voter transmission of the CCP virus, as The Epoch Times reported.

Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Hawaii carry out their elections wholly by mail. A federal judge in Texas granted a temporary injunction May 19 allowing all voters in the state to vote by mail in upcoming elections. The injunction was stayed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals pending the outcome of the state’s appeal of the ruling.