ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The debate over whether or not a mail-in election is the best system during the quarantine has started to play out on the national stage. This week President Trump targeted the states of Nevada and Michigan, threatening to withhold CARES Act funding because of their interests in setting up a vote-by-mail system.
In March, Nevada's Secretary of State announced the transition to a mail-in election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan's Secretary of State announced plans to mail the state's registered voters applications for absentee ballots, earlier this week.
After the president posted his reactions on Twitter, questions were raised over the whether the he has the authority to withhold any portion of federal funding provided through the CARES Act. He has since walked back those claims - but remains vocally opposed to the idea of carrying out a mail-in election. The president has indicated that voting by mail would open up too many opportunities from voter fraud.
This week in Texas, a federal judge's ruling to allow voters who fear exposure to the coronavirus to vote by mail was blocked by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
"The law is pretty clear - it doesn't allow for people to get mail-in ballots for fear of contracting corona, or anything else ... or fear of being hit by a car on the way to vote," remarked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxson, during an interview on MSNBC.
In Alaska, Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer shares the president's view.
Just last week, he confirmed that the state would not consider a mail-in election in 2020. You can find more information on that discussion HERE.
According to VOTE.org, five states currently have elections that are held by mail-in ballot. 17 states require voters to provide an excuse for voting by absentee ballot and 28 states - and the District of Columbia - offer no excuse absentee voting. Alaska falls into the latter category.
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