House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has changed her tune on mail-in voting in the final days before the election, telling voters to return their ballots in person rather than by mail if they have not yet mailed them in.
“I hope that people will not depend on the mail,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference last week, the Washington Examiner reported.
She complained that mail service has been slowed down ahead of the election and claimed that the Trump administration has “have done all they can to dismantle the Postal System.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy came under fire in recent months for making cost-cutting changes that could potentially impact mail service, like cutting overtime and removing mailboxes from locations where they weren’t getting as much use.
No conspiracy to slow the mail
DeJoy has said that the changes were planned before he became postmaster general and he stopped them until after the election.
The post office did say earlier in the year that voters should request and return their mail-in or absentee ballots as early as possible to make sure they were received by Election Day or the deadline for counting ballots, which now varies by state.
Congressional Democrats pushed for a nationwide ballot counting extension, but Republicans have said that extending the deadline beyond Election Day opens the door for voter fraud and people trying to vote after the election.
Democrat voters have been more likely to vote by mail in previous elections, and have also expressed more fear of voting in person because of the coronavirus.
Will turnout blow away 2016?
As of Sunday, more than two-thirds of the number who voted in the 2016 election — over 93 million — have already voted by mail-in ballot or early voting in the 2020 election, according to The Guardian. In 2016, a total of 136.5 million people voted.
Texas and Hawaii have already exceeded 2016’s turnout before Election Day. As is typical, more Democrats are voting by mail and early than Republicans, but an analysis by The Hill showed that in several battleground states, Democrats may not be getting enough of an advantage to withstand Republicans who plan to vote in person on Election Day.
Iowa, Florida, and Nevada all have less of a Democrat advantage than in previous elections, which means all three of those states have the potential to go Trump once all the votes are counted.
There are so many variables and ways this election is different that it’s very hard to predict how it will turn out in the end. It could come down to Pennsylvania, which has registered more than 160,000 new Republicans and only around 29,000 Democrats since the last election, when Trump won the state by 44,000 votes.