Election 2020: Invaliding Mail-In Ballots Is Voter Suppression, And Here’s Why.



   The 2020 presidential election has been anything but ordinary. It’s been over three days since Election Day and votes are still being counted across the country, causing leading current President Donald Trump to throw serious accusations. Trump insists that mail-in ballots should no longer be counted in the election. Trump called the counting of mail-in ballots “a formula for rigging an election”, on Twitter, accusing these ballots of being fraudulent and sent in to favor his opponent rather than himself. And while he is adamantly against the counting of mail-in ballots, president Donald Trump fully supports the counting of absentee ballots. According to experts, there is no distinction between the two. But the biggest issue with these claims isn’t the mail-in verses absentee debate; it’s how these claims enforce voter suppression across the country. 

   Voter suppression is an attack on the rights of a voter. It’s been used as a way to favor certain groups and parties in elections for decades. Earlier in the election, CNN reported that a 94-year old Mildred Madison who traveled three hundred miles just so she could vote after her absentee ballot was lost in the mail. Many people saw this as a heartwarming story. But in reality, it’s a prime example of voter suppression. Mildred Madison, like many voters, rely on that mail-in ballot to cast their vote due to illness, disabilities, or the lack of in person voting options near them. They have no choice but to mail-in their vote. By the president insisting that these ballots are invalid after election day and are being used fraudulently, he’s jeopardizing the rights of voters who have no choice but to mail-in their ballots, and he’s enforcing voter suppression. 

    This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Donald Trump interfere with the rights and freedoms of American people. His refusal to pass the Equality Act, which according to congress.gov would protect citizens from unfair discrimination due to sex, gender, or sexuality in the workplace proves his unwillingness to fight for all of the American people, not just ones that he identifies with. Additionally, his continuous comments towards women, disabled citizens, people of color, and even his own supporters just increase the controversy around him and his presidency. His final act is to falsely accuse mail-in ballots of being fraudulent and push for them to be disregarded, therefore disregarding the voices of thousands of American citizens, and suppressing voters that he as a president is supposed to stand for and represent. And yes, of course there are probably some ballots that ARE fraudulent. It’s 2020 and people on both sides of this equation are desperate, and it would be naive to think every single ballot counted has been entirely legal. I’m not trying to make a villain out of anyone involved in this issue, but it is irresponsible to assume that those ballots represent the majority or even all of the mail-in ballots.

    It’s time to address voter suppression in America and the issues around it, because performing basic citizen rights shouldn’t be this hard.