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Why Isn’t Congress Already Voting Remotely?

The United States cannot seem to act quickly to avert any of the issues that this global pandemic is causing. The problems that are occurring seem to be very foreseeable and yet, our leaders are doing little to address them. Now that Ben McAdams and Mario Diaz-Balart are infected, we are facing a challenging situation.

Congress members are going to be forced to quarantine while they are conducting crucial business. The powers that be should have seen this coming but they were apparently waiting for the virus to strike before doing anything about it. This is bad news at any time but it is especially awful when the Feds are being relied upon to see us through a catastrophe.

Basic planning would have allowed us to remain afloat until the crisis has had a chance to pass. There are no shortage of Congress members who have a higher risk factor for COVID-19. Older Americans with preexisting conditions have to remain on high alert. They are going to need to isolate themselves immediately in order to slow the spread.

All it takes is one infection in a group setting like this to cause major problems. These 2 members of Congress have already had contact with other members and who knows how many have yet to be diagnosed? A Georgia state senator already decided to show up for a vote while they were waiting for the results of a coronavirus test.

This irresponsible move revealed itself once the test came back positive. This leaves countless Congressmen and women at risk of being infected. The stimulus package that is on the way may be delayed because of these actions. This is something that cannot happen and should not happen.

We do not have time to waste right now and every moment is a valuable one. Remote voting needs to start taking place as quickly as possible. There is no argument against it. There are members of Congress who are seriously worried about the “message” that they are sending to the rest of the country.

How can they be fretting over messaging at a time like this? Most of the nation is already on lockdown. We are already scared to death so we are not sure what the rationale is here. The nation is using video chatting apps to remain in touch with one another right now and if Congress decided to take similar steps, no one is going to complain.

Mitch McConnell says that he is against the idea but he does not have any sort of justification that makes sense. From where we are sitting, it seems like Congress is dragging their feet in an unnecessary manner. This is not the time to be putting abstract concepts like “tradition” over the safety of all Congressional members.

McConnell claims that the senators can simply enter the chambers one at a time to make their votes. He may not want to corral his caucus over the phone and that is understandable. It beats putting all of the senators in the same room and allowing them to get each other infected.

While there are security issues that need to be addressed (hacking is a problem that cannot be ignored), there are ways to solve these sorts of problems. If the president of the United States has the ability to chat in a secure manner with his deputies, Congress can put together a video voting process that will keep their members safe from infection.

Members could be asked to cast their votes twice over. Congress should have access to basic video conference software and secure phone lines. This allows those who are responsible for counting the votes to make sure that the right people are casting them. Fate cannot be tempted and the problem needs to be addressed while Congress still has a chance to do so.

Congress should also be getting ahead of the game when it comes to the upcoming election. Citizens should be given the chance to cast their votes by mail. Everyone is hoping that the viral outbreak has cleared by then but this is unprecedented territory. These problems are foreseeable and the logistics have to be considered now before we end up in nightmare territory.

Remote voting must be passed now before it is too late. Congress should not have waited until their members were infected before they decided to take the proper steps. These are the sorts of delays that America cannot afford when we are trying our absolute best to handle all of the problems that are being caused by a global pandemic.