Don't change election laws this late

Adam Brandon, Opinion contributor
·2 min read

You’re reading the Opposing View, one of two perspectives in Today’s Debate.

For Our View, read “Counting absentee ballots shouldn't wait until Election Day.”

The only way that our elections will be free and fair is if we keep the process the same throughout. This means voting in person on Election Day, but Democrats in key battleground states don’t see it that way. Thanks to Democratic court challenges, states such as Pennsylvania are relaxing restrictions for mail-in voting, flat-out changing the way we vote fewer than 50 days ahead of the election.

We have always had absentee voting, but it has always come with a tried and true validation process to ward off controversy. The system only works if we keep the same processes in place throughout.

By changing the laws for how mail-in ballots are counted, states are paving the way for chaos and uncertainty in the weeks after Nov. 3. To change election laws this late in the game puts partisan legal teams in charge of determining the results of an election, rather than American voters.

But even if the election is decided on a legal scale, it would be contested on a civil scale for years to come. That is dangerous for our republic’s institutions and for American society itself.

Democrats are taking advantage of Americans’ anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic by doubling down to incentivize widespread voting by mail. Not only did the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Dr. Anthony Fauci make clear that voting in person is safe under the proper precautions, but there is a bipartisan consensus that widespread voting by mail could be dangerous to election integrity. Changing how we count these mail-in ballots is playing with fire.

Processing absentee ballots on April 8, 2020, in downtown Milwaukee.
Processing absentee ballots on April 8, 2020, in downtown Milwaukee.

States should resist any further changes to how they count votes. What we really need is a set of clear laws that protect our elections from these last minute changes.

This election is already contentious enough. Let’s not make it worse by changing the rules in the home stretch.

Adam Brandon is the president of FreedomWorks.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2020 election: Don't change how to count votes this late