President Trump on Monday warned — in capital letters — that some foreign countries will try to exert influence over the 2020 election by printing phony mail-in ballots and flooding the ballot box.
Trump wrote on Twitter that “millions” of mail-in ballots will be printed.
“RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!” Trump wrote.
RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020
Trump has repeatedly bashed mail-in voting, which is being heavily pushed by Democrats amid the coronavirus panic. The president and many Republicans say mail-in voting would aid Democrats because the voting process would be rife with fraud.
But Trump may be too late. Already, five states — Utah, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Hawaii — use universal vote-by-mail, and nearly 30 other states let voters request a mailed ballot without giving a reason.
In May, Trump wrote on Twitter: “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In-Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” adding that “mailboxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”
He also said California, where a universal mail-in ballot move is underway, would be mailing ballots to “anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.”
In April, he claimed that “you get thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody’s living room, signing ballots all over the place” when mail-in voting is allowed. Asked by reporters for evidence, he said, “I think there’s a lot of evidence, but we’ll provide you with some, OK?”
Some states are already having difficulty with mail-in ballot programs, and Republicans are suing the state of California over Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom’s decision to “send every registered voter a mail-in ballot for the November presidential election,” as reported by Business Insider. But there is no widespread evidence of Trump’s claims of willful fraud.
Twitter issued a fact check on Trump’s unsupported claims: “A Twitter spokesperson told Insider that Trump’s tweets ‘contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots,’ in line with previous policies it rolled out earlier this month to either remove or add labels and warnings to flag content that spreads misinformation about COVID-19.”
Trump also told Politico last week that mail-in voting could be a huge threat to his reelection.
“My biggest risk is that we don’t win lawsuits,” Trump said of legal challenges against vote-by-mail. “We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don’t win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk.”
Asked if widespread mail-in voting would cause him to question the legitimacy of the election and if he’d be willing to accept the outcome regardless, Trump said, “Well, you can never answer the second question, right? Because Hillary kept talking about she’s going to accept, and they never accepted it. You know. She lost too. She lost good.”
Clinton did concede the election but also spent the following months suggesting that Russians interfered with the election on Trump’s behalf.
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