Podcast | Vote-by-mail is the future — and it’s already here

As the pandemic pushes many states toward mail-in balloting, they're calling Washington state for help.

Election worker moving ballots

King County Elections employee Jeff W. pulls ballots from a sorting machine at headquarters in Renton, Washington in 2017. (Matt Mills McKnight/Crosscut)

When President Donald Trump focused his ire on mail-in ballots late last month, Twitter did something unusual. It fact-checked him. His claims that moving away from in-person voting during the pandemic would lead to widespread fraud were unsubstantiated, the company said. His tweets, and that unprecedented tweetback, were just the latest in a spirited debate over the adoption of mail-in balloting brought on by the pandemic threat. But in Washington state, the debate is over. For almost a decade, voters in the Evergreen State have elected their leaders and weighed in on initiatives without ever setting a foot in a polling place, all while avoiding any whiff of widespread voter fraud. For this episode of This Changes Everything, Crosscut news and politics editor Donna Blankinship speaks with host Sara Bernard about the fight over mail-in ballots and the lessons that Washington state has been sharing with other states that are weighing their options as they prepare for election season.