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Ex-DHS secretary: Both parties should work to expand mail-in voting 

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R) said on Hill.TV’s “Rising” Wednesday that both parties should work toward expanding mail-in voting.

“We’ve been using absentee ballots since the civil war; there’s no partisan advantage in using an absentee ballot,” said Ridge, who served as Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush.

Ridge said that compelling voters to make the decision between physically going to a polling location and staying home could hurt Republicans, who have said expanded mail-in voting could invite fraud.

“In light of COVID-19, we shouldn’t compel people to choose between voting in-person or staying home,” Ridge said. “It’s also counterproductive and counterintuitive for the Republicans, who seeks to maintain his majority in the Senate… it could be discouraging Republicans from supporting those candidates via absentee ballots."

Ridge noted that primary results that have taken place since the start of the pandemic have seen increased turnout through mail-in voting.

“If you take a look at the primary results, there’s unprecedented use of mail-in ballots,” Ridge said. “I think it’s the responsibility of both parties to make it earlier for people to vote.”