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SSOCC hearing wrap up: Americans can safely vote in-person -- that's science


Today, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis held a hearing on "Ensuring a Free, Fair, and Safe Election During the Coronavirus Pandemic." At the hearing, Republicans emphasized the fact that health officials have said it's safe to vote in person this fall when health protocols are in place. Republicans also blasted Democrats' attempts to undermine Americans' faith in the upcoming election and push partisan schemes like the mandatory distribution of mail-in ballots to all voters.

Representative Mark Green (R-Tenn.) emphasizes that health officials have said it's safe to vote in person.

"Dr. Birx has said "I can tell you it has been safe for me to go to Starbucks and pick up my order,' [so if you can] "go into Starbucks in the middle of Texas and Alabama and Mississippi that have very high case rates, then I can't say that it would be different waiting in line in the polls.' … In person voting is not only safe, it's also the most secure way to vote."

Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) notes there have been no surges in coronavirus cases when Americans have voted in person during the pandemic.

"Doctors Fauci, Birx, and Redfield have all publicly stated that voting in person can be done safely. Not only that, we have actually seen it done safely several times. In April, Republicans in Wisconsin insisted on allowing in person voting in the state's primaries. Democrats called it "a moral atrocity.' You know what happened? Despite the hyperbole and doom and gloom, numerous studies by the CDC, Stanford University and others show no surge in cases or deaths attributable to in person voting in Wisconsin. Over the course of this pandemic, millions of Americans have voted in person, in all of our states' primaries, with no surge in cases or deaths, proving over and over again that voting in person can be done safely. And that is the science."

In response to questioning from Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.), Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft told the subcommittee that states, just like Missouri, can easily allow in person voting by following proper health protocols.

"We follow the guidelines of the CDC to give people space, to have extra poll workers, to have large polling places, to remind people to keep their distance. We've reached out to manufacturers as to how to disinfect their equipment. It's common sense."

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, the only witness on the panel that is actually running an election, also told members that voting in person provides more peace of mind that your vote will be counted.

"It is safe to vote in person. If you vote by mail, you have to worry about the Post Office. You have to worry about whether or not you filled out that ballot correctly. You have to worry about whether or not it has to be notarized, if your signature matched, if you accidentally voted twice for one line instead of for one person. You don't have to worry about that in person, you get a second chance. When you vote in person, it's safe, you run your vote through the scanner, your vote has been cast and your vote matters."

Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise warns about outdated voting rolls.

"Democrats want to advance a partisan scheme that goes back to the very beginning of last year -- long before coronavirus hit America. They want to mandate that ballots be mailed to all registered voters during an emergency. That is, as I just outlined, unnecessary and dangerous. A review by Judicial Watch in early 2020 found 378 counties nationwide that have more registered voters than voting-age citizens."

Rep. Mark Green lays out the facts about how voting fraud is real.

"We cannot conflate absentee voting to a blanket mail in ballot process … Vote by mail opens up our elections to all kinds of vulnerabilities. The Election Integrity Project has said that Governor Newsom's vote by mail executive order will lead to 458,000 ballots going to Californians who have moved or are dead. This is a recipe for disaster."