Early voting starts in four states on Friday, September 18, including Minnesota, Virginia, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Voters in these states will be able to cast their votes until October 31, under this early voting scheme, which is open for the general public for the first time in recent history, owing to the pandemic. To avoid any delays on election day, people came out in good numbers to cast their votes for the presidential elections. Meanwhile, the death of Ruth Ginsburg, a famous Supreme Court jurist, initiated another political crisis that can have a profound impact on the elections.
Here is everything you need to know about the US Presidential elections 2020 early voting:
- Four states, including Minnesota, Virginia, South Dakota, and Wyoming, opened early voting on Friday, 46 days prior to the November 3 presidential elections.
- Both Trump and Biden moved to Minnesota, one of the states where early voting is taking place on Friday for campaigning. Trump lost this state in the 2016 election by a narrow margin.
- Before this election, people needed a solid reason to vote early or by mail in nearly all the states. However, under the new laws, anyone can vote early, due to the pandemic at any time to meet their schedule and to avoid any potential gathering at the election day.
- Ruth Ginsburg died as early voting starts, providing a playing field for Republicans.
- Biden is currently leading against Trump by nine points nationally by securing 52% compared to 43% of Trump, according to the surveys.
Due to the prevailing financial crisis at the Post Office, the USPS has already warned about potential delays of mailed ballots on November 3, 2020, in case of universal mail-in voting. To avoid stress on the USPS, many states are installing ballot drop boxes throughout the cities to facilitate vote counting and encourage voters for early voting.
Surprisingly, the queues in the localities of Virginia are longer than anywhere else. According to the reports that emerged on social media, violations of COVID-19 protocols were also observed in the state with the unexpectedly higher turnout on the first day of the early voting.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death and the imminent political crisis in the wake of early voting:
Just when the early voting started in the US, Ruth Ginsburg, one of the stalwarts in the US judiciary, died. Her death can have a profound impact on early voting trends. Donald Trump will be looking forward to selecting her replacement and getting the approval of the Senate as soon as possible before the upcoming elections.
RBG was famously known for her efforts for civil rights, specifically gender equality and women’s rights. As a matter of fact, she was the left-wing liberal jurist promoting the rights of racial, linguistic, and gender minorities. Now, after her death, conservatives, who always tried hard not to give basic human rights to various factions of the society for whatever reasons, will be in full swing to destabilize her legacy by mobilizing conservative voters for early voting. Conservatives, who are in denial of the abortion rights, will be more likely to vote for Republicans, as they can see a ray of hope achieving their dream amidst RBG’s death.
With a more conservative jurist in the Supreme Court now, Democrats will be at a loss for the moment in the early voting. This is one of the main reasons former Democrat President Obama has already asked Republicans not to vote for the new appointment before the election. Republicans, however, will probably be more than happy with the conservative in the office as most of the voters of Republicans are older-aged, conservative people. Even those old aged people previously having no plans of voting would be mobilizing for early voting with RBG’s death, which could be a positive sign for the Republicans.
Senators and Governor in Early Voters:
Elected members of the current Congress, specifically Democrats, were also seen in the early voting queues to encourage their voters to vote in their favor. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, two Democrat Senators, were seen standing in early voting queues to cast their votes in Richmond and Alexandria, two cities of Virginia, respectively.
Kim Paine took on Twitter after voting and wrote, “I just voted early for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Democrats all the way down the ticket here in Virginia—what a great day! I hope you’ll join me—it’s easy, convenient, and boy, does it feel good to vote for competence, character, and compassion.”
The Democrat-based governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, also cast his vote in Richmond to encourage early voters.
Chuck Schumer, a Democratic Senator, reiterated the words of the Senate’s majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who said before the 2016 presidential elections at the time of the death of another Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.” Will Trump wait for the next elections to be over, or will he try to get the undue advantage in the early voting by swearing in a conservative in the court? It remains anyone’s guess, yet his past record suggests that he will not hesitate to make a replacement as early as possible.