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Editorial

Voting is Now a Matter of Health

Voting by mail has become a subject of controversy between President Donald Trump and officials in various states, such as Michigan, where the president has threatened to cut off federal funding if they use it.

The President claims that mail-in ballots are a source of corruption and that they lead to electoral "fraud."

He also argues that the vote favors Democrats – but there is no evidence of that.

Nevertheless, it is interesting that he and the First Lady voted by mail in the Florida primary in March.

He also does not say a word about the five, Trump-friendly states that hold their elections exclusively using the mail-in ballot. These states are: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

This argument strongly reminds me of the debate we had in Athens – when I served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs with Responsibility for Hellenes Abroad – about the right for expatriates to vote.

Only there we had the opposite case: the Prime Minister of the country was in favor of voting by mail, while the opposition – SYRIZA and KKE – did not even want to hear it.

We explained in vain that the distances in countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, etc. are huge and that many expatriates would not travel for hours by road or by plane to vote.

Instead of making it easier for the expatriate to vote, they created ridiculous obstacles, such as the condition that you can only vote from abroad if you have lived outside Greece for less than 35 years. For example: I can’t vote from America. However, I can take a plane and go vote in my village, without any problems!!!

In the end, we accepted the terms which for them were completely non-negotiable, because we simply did not have the necessary votes (200) to pass a different bill through Parliament.

As I have argued many times, "all or nothing" solutions are not solutions. But we made a start. It will be improved someday.

And here is an idea:

In the age of the coronavirus, the official opposition must reconsider the issue of voting by mail.

Normally, both America and Greece should be talking about electronic voting by now– as I have argued many times – but let's at least compromise and adopt voting by mail.

It is now a matter of health.

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