Yeah, riddle me that Batman.

Courtesy of NBC News:

The nation in crisis. A divisive president up for re-election. Millions of Americans who can’t make it to their local polling place. Partisan fights over proposals to vote by mail.

Sound familiar?

It was the 1860s, the Civil War was raging and Republicans, led by President Abraham Lincoln, wanted to let Union soldiers vote from the battlefield. The opposition Democrats balked. They warned of rampant fraud and “a scheme” by Republicans “to gain some great advantage to their party,” as one Wisconsin state senator put it before the legislature voted on party lines to become the first state to legalize absentee voting.

About 150,000 of the 1 million Union soldiers were able to vote absentee in the 1864 presidential election in what became the first widespread use of non-in-person voting in American history.

A century and a half later, amidst a new debate over voting by mail as the country prepares to hold an election during a different kind of war — this one against the coronavirus — America’s long history of letting soldiers vote from far-flung war zones shows the issue has always been controversial, but that the worst fears of critics have never come to pass.

It’s now easier in some ways for a Marine in Afghanistan to vote than it is for an American stuck at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. And some lawmakers and advocates want to use the rules that lets that Marine cast a ballot as a model for how all Americans could vote in the November presidential election if the pandemic continues.

“Some part of the military has been voting absentee since the American Revolution,” said Donald Inbody, a retired Navy captain who went on to a career in academia as a political science professor at Texas State University.

So we have been successfully using mail-in-ballots since the very beginning of our country, and yet the idea of expanding access to that for all Americans is supposed to worry us? 

I think the only people who should be worried are the Republicans because it is much. much harder to suppress voter turnout when the votes arrive via postman. 

Which is of course why Trump and the Republicans are trying to do away with the US Postal Service. 

Because even Constitutionally protected services are not alllowed to stand between the GOP and their thirst for power.