Rush for ‘mail in’ vote increasing at the last moment in US poll

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor,
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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The importance of the ‘mail in’ vote has increased in the last moments of the US presidential election, frustrated by the global pandemic corona attack. In the United States, 'mail in' voting is a provision for voting by post.

About 15 lakh North Carolina voters have applied for ‘mail in’ vote by post this time. This number is almost six times more than in 2016.

According to international media reports, in the context of the Corona threat, the majority of voters are expected to vote by post in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. That is why a number of federating states have sent ballot papers of ‘mail in’ votes to voters.

In some states, votes are counted two weeks before the election. That was done after the rest of the state elections. According to experts, the overall picture will not emerge on election night due to the record number of postal votes. Because in many states the counting of votes continues even after election day is over.

November 3 is the day of the US presidential election. However, in some states, the postal voting process is starting from the next day (November 4). One such state is North Carolina. The people of this state are barely being sent 'mail in' voting papers.

There is controversy in the United States over the 'mail in' vote. There are pros and cons. As a group, Republicans do not like this 'mail in' system. The party's candidate and current president Donald Trump is a staunch opponent of the 'mail in' vote.

The Republicans allege that the risk of electoral corruption and vote rigging in the 'mail in' process is high. They want the count to end on election night. But that is not happening. The postal vote count has been extended in two states, taking into account the existing rules and especially the Corona pandemic.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of North Carolina. The verdict came by a 5-3 vote of the judges. The Republican camp went to the lower court against it when the North Carolina Board of Elections allowed to vote by post. The Higher Court upheld the lower court's decision, a major legal defeat for Republicans.

In the US federal system, the electoral authority has the power to temporarily change the rules of the election, considering the state of emergency in state law. There have been instances of changing postal voting rules twice in the last three years after a hurricane hit the North Carolina coast. The court has upheld that tradition, and Republicans have lost the legal battle. There is also a sense of elation in the Democrat camp.

Four years ago, Republican President Donald Trump won the North Carolina state by a margin of 173,315 votes. But this time there is a hint of fierce competition between Trump and Biden. Biden is also ahead in opinion polls. The record number of voters who vote in the 'mail-in' system is thought to be unhappy with Republicans and sympathizers with Democrats for opposing the system.