This past week, President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee continued their $20-million dollar effort to stop Americans from voting by mail. Their latest attack is a lawsuit in Pennsylvania to stop the use of ballot drop-boxes in vote-by-mail elections. If Trump and the RNC were to succeed with a similar lawsuit in Washington state, it would disenfranchise millions and make our voting system unrecognizable.
Ballot drop-boxes are a critical part of Washington elections. Nearly 50% of all ballots cast in 2018 and nearly 60% in 2016—millions of votes—are cast via drop boxes. In some counties, it’s nearly 75%. If Trump succeeds in Pennsylvania, the lawsuit would inspire litigation across the country.
Beyond making it harder to vote, Trump’s lawsuit would also make voting less secure. In Washington, voting by mail requires a signature on the outside of the envelope. This allows county officials to check the signature before opening the ballot, maintaining the secrecy of the ballot. Trump’s lawsuit would eliminate this practice entirely only a few months before election day.
“The Washington Secretary of State should be a leader in championing vote-by-mail across the country. This lawsuit could establish legal precedent that undermines vote-by-mail everywhere,” said State Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Seattle). “Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s baseless attacks on our election practices cannot go unanswered. As leaders, we cannot remain silent.”
As a leader in the Republican Party—and a former chair of the Republican Secretaries of State Committee—Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman must condemn this legal campaign to wipe out vote-by-mail across the country.
For those keeping track:
Donald Trump tweets that vote-by-mail is his “biggest risk” to re-election? Wyman refuses to criticize him.
- Wyman-backed Republican Secretary of State presides over a “complete meltdown” of an election in Georgia? Wyman says nothing.
- Donald Trump tear-gasses peaceful protestors for exercising their constitutional rights? Silence.