In an interview on Fox News two nights ago, Vice President Pence endorsed absentee voting for this fall and drew a distinction between that and full vote by mail. Below is the relevant portion from a transcript of that interview. In reproducing it, I am not endorsing, of course, anything said here. But I think the VP’s endorsement of absentee voting is newsworthy.
According to the Washington Post, as of now, 77% of Americans will have the option of voting at home this fall.
MACCALLUM: With regard to the election, even a question raised today, two big issues that were raised today, one is the issue of mail-in ballots and here is what Representative Greg Stanton of Arizona said about that today. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GREG STANTON, D-ARIZ.: There are fears that you and the President are laying the foundation to interfere with the upcoming election specifically with vote by mail, as my colleagues have previously noted, because both of you have advanced false conspiracy theories about mail-in voting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: There are so many states in the country that already have mail- in voting, they’ve had it for a long time. Is there any reason not to accelerate or offer that opportunity to people given the COVID-19 pandemic? Is there anything that’s wrong with that in your mind?
PENCE: Well Martha look, what we’ve had in this country for a long time is absentee ballot voting by mail. We’ve had in the State of Indiana, I’ve voted in absentee myself since I get this job in Washington D. C.
MACCALLUM: Yes, you are right.
PENCE: And look, that requires a person request the ballot and then the signature is verified and we protect the vote. The integrity of the vote is paramount. I mean through the generations, Americans have worn the uniform, fought and died to protect all of our freedoms and the right to vote is at the heart of this democracy, and absentee balloting is a time honored tradition.
But what you see across this country in Democrat led states is an effort for universal distribution of ballots. Without the accountability that you have with absentee balloting, and when you combine that with states like California that actually allow what is called vote bundling or vote harvesting, you see where the entire ability for widespread fraud is very real.
And what you’re hearing from President Trump and you will continue to hear from this administration is a commitment to protect the one person, one vote, integrity of our electoral system, and we are going to stand strong on that.