Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Reported By Erin Erhardt | Published August 14, 2020 at 5:36pm

The votes are in: Both Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Donald Trump support in-person voting this fall. With the 2020 presidential election rapidly approaching in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been much debate about whether it will be safe to gather in person at polling locations. That debate should now be over. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said safe in-person voting is possible, as long as proper precautions are taken.

Fauci spoke with ABC News Correspondent Deborah Roberts for “Stopping Pandemics,” an exclusive National Geographic event that aired on Wednesday. During the interview, Roberts asked Fauci if it would be safe for people to go out and vote in person this November.

“I think if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case,” Fauci said.

“For example, when you look at going to a grocery store now in many regions and counties and cities that are doing it correctly, they have ‘X’s every six or more feet. And it says, Don’t leave this spot until the person in front of you left their spot. And you can do that, if you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing, and don’t have a crowded situation, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do that.”

Fauci did provide a caveat that people who are high-risk should take advantage of mail-in or other vote-from-home options, options that have been available for years.

“I mean, obviously if you’re a person who is compromised physically or otherwise, you don’t want to take the chance,” he said.

“There’s the situation of mail-in voting that has been done for years in many places. So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote in person or otherwise.”

For months we’ve been told that we should listen to the “experts” and the “science” on coronavirus. Now that the nation’s top expert and the president agree that in-person voting is safe, the debate should be over.

Unfortunately, that seems unlikely.

The left has been pushing for universal mail-in voting for months — almost since the beginning of the pandemic. Trump has been pushing back just as long, arguing that mail-in voting presents a greater opportunity for fraud and would place a heavy burden on the already struggling United States Postal Service. The Postal Service has already sent letters to 46 states warning it cannot guarantee all mail-in ballots for the November election will be delivered early enough to be counted.

There is a legitimate debate to be had about alternative voting methods. Even without the fear of a pandemic, issues like hours-long lines and lack of transportation discourage potential voters. Some states already utilize robust mail-in voting systems. For example, Colorado sends mail-in ballots to every registered voter and reports very little fraud in the process, according to KCNC-TV. However, Colorado’s system was implemented over time and with great consideration.

Additionally, it was first fully implemented during the 2014 midterm elections, not made mere months before a hotly contested presidential election. In fact, there are already plenty of examples of mail-in ballot issues this year alone and test runs of mail-in processes aren’t looking particularly promising.

Moreover, election rules and regulations are generally made at the state and local levels.

A nationwide mail-in voting mandate would overstep the bounds of federalism, taking control out of the hands of state and local governments and putting it in federal hands.

The president just wants a fair election. Now, Fauci agrees with him that there is no reason in-person voting should not go ahead as scheduled. Everyone should be happy about this, as established voting procedures are likely more secure than hastily implemented pandemic procedures.

Unfortunately, the left hates to see Trump proven right, so the push for mail-in voting this fall is likely to continue.

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