The president held an indoor rally Sunday in Nevada and a large indoor event in Phoenix on Monday. More could be coming.
And reporting indicates that he thinks flouting public health advice is the right way to rally his base.
Attendees at a crowded, indoor, largely mask-free rally Sunday in Nevada. (Roger Kisby/Bloomberg)
But that probably comes at the expense of picking up moderates. Polls show a majority of Americans support wearing masks and taking precautions against the virus. Not to mention that this indoor-rally-practice creates the very real risk that the president is helping spread coronavirus in key swing states rather than slow it. But it's what Trump wants, so it looks like it will continue. The Post’s Anne Gearan and Josh Dawsey report:
“Many around the president are acutely aware that a potential surge in coronavirus cases and deaths close to the election could be disastrous, according to campaign and White House aides, but they are mostly bowing to Trump’s desire to pack the house.”
Some of your most common vote-by-mail questions, answered
Ballots wait to be counted in 2018 in Denver. Colorado is a vote-by-mail state. (David Zalubowski/AP)
Is any method of voting more susceptible to fraud than any other?
Yes, and it’s mail voting. You’re filling out a ballot in private rather than a public polling place, which just increases the possibilities for fraud.
But but but! Millions of people vote by mail every year, whether in the five states that routinely do it for all elections, or by absentee for various reasons. And there is no evidence of widespread fraud, only isolated, infinitesimal cases of fraud.
When you vote by mail, can you send your ballot in as soon as you receive it? Or do you have to wait until early voting starts?
You can send it in as soon as you receive it. In fact, the Postal Service recommends that if you live in a state where you have to request a ballot (usually by filling out a ballot application), you should request it at least 15 days before the election. And then send in your ballot at least seven days before the election, to ensure that it arrives on time. (A number of states don’t count ballots received after Election Day, though there are legal battles to try to extend that in some states.) All that means that for those voting by mail, you probably want to move “Election Day” up on your calendar to Oct. 27.
What can be done about long lines for in-person voting?
The pandemic is changing the way we vote in person, too. Election officials need to spread people out, which means fewer people can enter their polling place at a time, which means long lines. Or officials are closing a big number of polling places, shifting their resources to count votes by mail.
After long lines for primaries this spring, states are making improvements. As The Post’s Amy Gardner reported during some the last primaries of the year, in August:
Milwaukee was scheduled to open 170 polling locations, slightly down from its normal number of 180 — a vast improvement over the April 7 election, when just five locations opened. One reason is that Gov. Tony Evers (D) called up the National Guard to augment local election staff.
And in Georgia’s August runoff elections after a long primary this spring, there were no long lines reported. “Back in June, the covid-19 got to everything,” Regina Waller, a spokeswoman for Fulton County, Ga., told Gardner. “We weren’t fully prepared. We lost sites, we lost workers because of it. This time we’re prepared.”
In addition, voting rights advocates are pushing for private spaces with big arenas, like concert halls or sports stadiums, to open their doors. The National Basketball Association will offer its arenas after players reached an agreement with owners to do this.
How can we be sure our ballot sent by mail gets counted? I don’t really trust that it will.
Counting mailed-in ballots is not new for election officials in any state. Counting such a volume of mailed ballots will be new for most of them. So election officials are investing in machines and people and training to try to count everything in a timely manner. But there will be some hurdles, like whether to count or throw out a signature that doesn’t quite match. And delays. One way to think about this: Election officials say that taking their time to announce mailed results is a sign that they’re getting the vote count right.
“This is not a speed game,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) told me in April. “This is going to be an integrity and safety game.”
For more on how to request a ballot and fill it out correctly per your state’s rules, check out: How to make sure your vote counts in November and How to prevent your mailed ballot from being rejected. And send me your questions about mail voting at the link below.