In reading Kos's piece on the "least worst" way to implement voter ID requirements, I noticed that he--like many other Kossacks--mentions the wildly-successful vote-by-mail programs in some of our western states.
We can certainly argue back and forth whether vote-by-mail reduces fraud (e.g. little Timmy filling out great-grandma Maude's ballot), but it seems that there's a far more important elephant lurking in the room: What happens to these vote-by-mail programs if the Republicans successfully shut down the US Postal Service?
Ignoring the discount that non-profit groups get from the USPS (and I presume that state governments qualify as non-profits? Maybe not--not my area of expertise), the cost of a stamp is 45 cents. Those 45 cents will carry my vote-by-mail ballot from anywhere in a state to the state capital in a few days, with guaranteed record of when I placed my vote (the postmark).
If I were to send a letter from my current address to my state capital by UPS ground, the cost in the state of Ohio lists as $8.57. If I were to do the same where I used to live in Wisconsin, the cost would also be $8.57. Going back to my days in grad school, if I were to send a ballot via UPS--though I happened to live in the state capital--the cost would still be $8.57. The cost to mail a ballot via the USPS: still $0.45 in all these cases.
FedEx might be better or worse--frankly, I didn't check because the prices are generally pretty similar.
Regardless, this is a bit of a nightmare in waiting. Vote-by-mail has been very successful in a number of states (essentially all states, if you include absentee balloting), but I find it...questionable...whether states would continue to offer vote-by-mail to the whole population if the cost were to increase 19-fold ($8.57 / $0.45). If the Republicans are successful in their neverending war against the USPS, loss of vote-by-mail might well occur, especially in the current budgeting environment.
Just my thoughts, but perhaps something to consider in the Republicans' war on...everything.