After months of warnings about the risks posed by in-person voting in a push to expand access to mail-in ballots, Democrats across the country are increasingly focused on communicating to voters that it is safe to cast their ballots in a voting booth.
The shift comes after a national legal campaign has successfully resulted in expanded access to mail-in voting in nearly every state — prompting an unprecedented shift in the way millions of Americans will be able to vote due to the coronavirus pandemic.But as voting is set to begin in more states in the coming weeks, Democrats have settled on a strategy of emphasizing that all voting options, including in-person early and Election Day voting, are safe amid the pandemic.
Perhaps the most pointed urging for Democrats to physically go to the polls came from former first lady Michelle Obama’s primetime speech during the Democratic National Convention last month.
“We’ve got to vote early, in person if we can,” Obama said, as she urged Democrats to cast their ballots ahead of an election in which she said democracy itself was at stake.
The former first lady also did not miss an opportunity to urge voters to request their mail-in ballots as soon as possible. But her message to “grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks” and head to the polls was a notable change of emphasis compared to her party’s laser-like focus on mail-in voting since the coronavirus pandemic began.