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Trump's bid to stop election is a throwback to grim history

Griffin Black


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Welcoming committee: Supporters greet US President Donald Trump as he arrives to hold a private campaign fundraiser in Odessa, Texas, earlier this week. Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Welcoming committee: Supporters greet US President Donald Trump as he arrives to hold a private campaign fundraiser in Odessa, Texas, earlier this week. Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters

REUTERS

Welcoming committee: Supporters greet US President Donald Trump as he arrives to hold a private campaign fundraiser in Odessa, Texas, earlier this week. Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters

The continuing tragedy of the coronavirus pandemic has offered an unexpected opportunity to change American voting fundamentally through the adoption of vote-by-mail policies. President Donald Trump, however, is sounding the alarm - or, more accurately, the dog whistle.

On Thursday, he tweeted that mail voting was a "catastrophic failure" with no accurate count, warning that 2020 would be "the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history". He even floated delaying the election, a prospect denounced by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Vote-by-mail solutions have long made sense as a way of ensuring people's voting rights, and they make even more sense now, when they would protect citizens from exposure to Covid-19 at the polls.