Why is postal voting causing arguments?

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It's not until election day, but did you know millions of Americans have already voted? 2020 has seen more use of "postal voting", largely due to the coronavirus. However, Donald Trump and Joe Biden fiercely disagree on how reliable it is. Find out all about it in the video below.

Could postal voting hurt Donald Trump's campaign?

Donald Trump has constantly argued against postal voting, saying: "Mail-in ballots are very dangerous - there's tremendous fraud involved". He seems to be afraid that postal voting would lead to inaccurate results causing him to lose the election. However, there is very little evidence for fraud. He also claimed that if everyone did it, it would be "catastrophic... it's going to make our country the laughing stock of the world....the problem with the mail-in voting, number one, is you're never going to know when the election is over." Read more here. He also seems to be trailing in the postal votes - for example, Florida releases results as they come in and a week before the election, showed over 300,000 more votes for Joe Biden than Donald Trump.

Could postal voting hurt Joe Biden's campaign?

According to a poll seen by The Guardian, 47% of Biden voters planned to vote by mail, compared with just 11% of Trump supporters.). Thomas Edsell, a journalist from the New York Times, has said this could be important because mailed vote ballots (the forms) have a higher rate of rejection. Crucial swing states like Pennsylvania have a law that says if a ballot arrives without the required "secrecy envelope" it must be thrown it, and it is "naked ballots" like this which could mean Joe Biden doesn't get his votes counted. This is not certain to affect the outcome of the election, but it is something the Democrats seem to be concerned about. Read more here!

Can you answer these questions?

  • What are the benefits of voting by mail?
  • What are the risks of voting by mail?
  • Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested voting by mail could lead to fraud and inaccurate results. There is little evidence for this, however (click this link to read more!) If there's little evidence, why do you think he might be saying it?
  • Who has greater responsibility to provide evidence - people saying voting by mail could be fraudulent, or those saying it is safe?

Comments (7)

  • Cheam Park logo eager_reflection | Cheam Park Farm Primary
    28 Oct 2020

    1. What are the benefits of voting by mail?
    There are many benefits of voting by mail, and here are a few examples. Voting by mail can be useful because it is cost effective. Jurisdictions may save money because they no longer need to staff traditional polling places with poll workers and equip each polling place with voting machines. A 2016 study of Colorado from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that costs decreased an average of 40% in five election administration categories after implementing vote-by-mail. In addition, citizens can vote at home and take all the time they need to study the issues. Voters often express enthusiasm for all-mail elections. Finally, you also don't have to wait in the very long lines at polling location, which many people will find convenient, with it taking a very long time to be served.

    2.What are the risks of voting by mail?
    One reason is that voting by mail may leave more room for manipulation. Since people don’t have to attend polling stations in person and don’t have to show their ID, chances are that there will also be more room for election manipulation. This is especially true in countries with rather lax regulations regarding the safety of elections and many votes may just be fake votes, but may still be counted for the end result of the election. Also, it may benefit some candidates more than the other. Voting by mail tends to have more Democrats voting this way, which can boost the end result because they may want to change their mind later if they are an early voter. Furthermore, other people may influence your decision. In fact, if you vote by mail, chances are that your peers will greatly affect your voting decision.

    3. Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested voting by mail could lead to fraud and inaccurate results. If there's little evidence, why do you think he might be saying it?
    I think that Donald Trump might be saying it because it could influence his voters and fans, who might then tell a family member or friend not to do it, so they might listen, which then could influence the Democrats as postal voting helps them more. This could work as I doubt that lots of people will search up if voting by mail can lead to fraud.

    4. I think that both have great responsibilities to prove evidence. This is because if people who say it is fraudulent are wrong, they may still stop people from voting by mail, even if it is safe. This could be bad luck for the Democrats, but good luck for the Republicans. If they don't provide evidence, people may be confused at what to do and will most likely vote normally. On the other hand, if someone saying that voting is safe is wrong, and people find out and will get angry as it is potential bias and could lead to everyone having to vote normally.
    Thanks for reading my comment,

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      eager_reflection's comment 28 Oct 2020

      What brilliant research, eager_reflection. This is a really good example of thinking carefully about the stretch and challenge activity and rising to the task! You say "if you vote by mail, chances are that your peers will greatly affect your voting decision" - can you give your evidence for this?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Cheam Park logo eager_reflection | Cheam Park Farm Primary
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 28 Oct 2020

        Hi Tom,
        The evidence is that your peers will be quite close to you as you will most likely be at home when posting your vote, so they could tell you who they would vote for and why, which could affect your decision. This is because they might know that you are posting your vote.
        Thanks for the star,

        Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg decisive_redcurrant | Michael Faraday School
    28 Oct 2020

    Umm sorry Tom but this is not about your post but I accidentally submitted my post for approval Should I redo it again or leave it?

    Reply to this comment
    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      decisive_redcurrant's comment 29 Oct 2020

      Hi decisive_redcurrant. I deleted the post so it hasn't been submitted. You are welcome to do it again. Let me know if that was the wrong thing to do!

      Reply to this comment
      1. Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg decisive_redcurrant | Michael Faraday School
        Olivia @ the BNC's comment 29 Oct 2020

        Thank you Olivia for doing that I’ll be sure to finish it again thank you very much😀

        Reply to this comment
  • Michael-Faraday-logo-250x250.jpg decisive_redcurrant | Michael Faraday School
    29 Oct 2020

    HI i'm decisive_Redcurrant and this is my comment to any of the experts out there!! some people in America have already started voting my mail and I think that was a very wise decision pf what they did
    Personally in my opinion I don't find any problem posting by mail.
    Firstly, Posting my mail can be very useful In some pandemics or viruses like to coronavirus and some people in a America are doing this already.
    Secondly, Postal voting can be also extremely dangerous and unfair sometimes and can even lead to Potential fraud.
    Some people don't know what that means and basically in this case I think a fraud is when someone intentionally deceptive action designed to provide the perpetrator with an unlawful gain or to deny a right to a candidate .
    Ad Donald Trump doesn't like that at all and is trying to let people vote by voting in there nearest polling station- meanwhile Joe Biden does't really care about postal voting.
    To conclude what I've said all I think is that postal voting can be used rarely in time of a critics or a deadly virus but if people want to vote by post they can not listen to what anybody says and vote for who they want. All I think now is that Now in this pandemic postal voting should be used more but In a safer way.
    Thank you fro reading my comment

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