From the mailbox…
Once again, let’s take a peek inside my Common Sense Civics and Citizenship mailbox to see what Americans are thinking about. As you will see, all of the questions relate to the upcoming presidential election. Maybe you have been asked a similar question or two.
- Is it better to vote by mail or absentee ballot for my 90 yr. old parents?
Absentee balloting would be the way to go in this case. Absentee balloting is a system developed and in place with a track record. Each city has different rules. I would call the voter registration office in your area and find out the procedure. Absentee balloting is very different from a generic mailing for anyone on the voter rolls. People move around (especially during the pandemic or in times of low-interest rates). Some citizens may end up with multiple ballots. I have a home address and a post office box. Could I end up with 2 ballots? Who knows?
The opportunity for fraud exists in any election. However, expecting the USPS to get your ballot to you on time, and return it on time to be counted is a big ask this close to the November 3 election. If need be, I will stand in line to vote in person with a mask on for hours. However, I’m not 90 yrs. old either 😉
2. What happens if the November 3 election is postponed?
The election will happen on November 3, 2020. A presidential election perhaps might be delayed for some extraneous reason, but it CANNOT be postponed.
The U.S. Constitution’s 20th Amendment says, “The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.”
“Shall end” means the term ends. So, the electoral college has to meet by a specific date, and Congress has to count the votes. The electoral college meets December 14, 2020, this year. Congress must receive the electoral college ballots by December 23, 2020. The votes are counted in a joint session of Congress by January 6, 2021. If your state is late, your vote will not be counted. This is another reason to have in-person voting with absentee balloting as an option.
3. How can the Speaker of the House be next in line for the presidency and take office if he/she has not been elected to the presidency?
The 25th Amendment deals with presidential succession. The Speaker of the House is third in line for the presidency, according to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.
4. What is the definition of a natural-born citizen?
This question refers to the requirement that the president must be a natural-born citizen. The definition of natural born citizen, according to 8 U.S. Code 1401, lists 8 categories. You can find them here:
Hope you enjoyed reading the mail!
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.??