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Calls for Vote-by-Mail System Grow Amid Pandemic

By Alison King Published April 15, 2020

As the U.S. deals with the coronavirus pandemic, there is a growing push to vote by mail.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., is joining the chorus of state leaders looking to create a vote-by-mail system in the Bay State for the rest of 2020.

"People should be able to make their voices heard at the ballot box," Kennedy said. "The state could just mail a ballot to every single registered voter. And you don’t even have to sign up for it."

The country has already gotten a look at a coronavirus election.

"Last week in Wisconsin, there was a catastrophic election," said Alex Psilakis of MassVote.

"Individuals who wanted to cast absentee ballots couldn't. Individuals had to wait in line for hours to actually vote."

Psilakis says people had to make the decision, "Do I want to speak my mind and risk my health? Or do I want to stay home and let my voice go on unheard?"

MassVote, a non-partisan advocacy group, is pushing for vote-by-mail along with expansion of early voting and election day registration. The group feels it is an essential response to the health crisis. But not everyone is on board.

"I think mail-in voting is horrible, it's corrupt," President Donald Trump said.

He also said proposals of increased levels of voting would hurt the GOP, stating that "if you ever agreed to it, you would never have a Republican elected in this country."

Although Trump himself voted by mail in the last election, he described the process as ripe for fraud.

But Kennedy says the incidents of irregularities are very low.

"One, it's against the law, and two, there's a legal penalty if you do it. Three, think of what happens if we don't do something like this," he said.

A vote-by-mail bill has been proposed in the U.S. Senate. But for now, the state legislatures will decide. In Massachusetts, a bill was filed on Beacon Hill Tuesday.

This story originally appeared on NBC10 Boston. Find the original article and video here:



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