With Democrats pushing universal mail-in ballots for all Americans, President Trump on Wednesday said if people can “protest in person” they can “vote in person.”
“IF YOU CAN PROTEST IN PERSON, YOU CAN VOTE IN PERSON!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
IF YOU CAN PROTEST IN PERSON, YOU CAN VOTE IN PERSON!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
Trump’s tweet came as protests continue in several major cities following the death of George Floyd May 25 while in the custody of Minneapolis police. While many state governors have enacted stay-at-home regulations for residents, they allow for protesters to gather in large groups, with or without masks.
The president said Monday that if universal mail-in voting is allowed, the U.S. is “never going to have a fair” presidential election. In a wide-ranging phone interview with the hosts of “Fox & Friends,” the president said that mail-in voting can allow fraud.
“I have to tell you that if you go with this universal mail-in … tens of millions of ballots being sent to everybody and their dogs, dogs are getting them, okay? People that have been dead for 25 years are getting them, you have to see what’s happening. Then you’re never going to have a fair election,” Trump said.
While fewer than 10 states currently have universal mail-in voting, where ballots are mailed to every registered voter, Democrats are pushing for wider use of the practice, which has prompted the current battle over the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called lawmakers back into session to hold hearings on the USPS.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced on Tuesday that he will suspend several cost-cutting initiatives in an effort “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”
Trump said he’s currently taking steps to fix what he called a long-term “disaster” in the USPS’s finances. “This isn’t a Trump thing. This has been one of the disasters of the world, the way it’s been run,” Trump said. “What am I supposed to do, let it continue to be run badly?”
And Trump called Pelosi’s move a “con game,” saying there is already ample money available to the USPS. “The Post Office, there’s $25 billion sitting there, but they really want $1 trillion to bail out their badly run states,” Trump said of Democratic lawmakers.
Trump also said he would support extending voting to include the weekend before Election Day and adding additional voting booths to ease crowding. “I would support all of that. That’s what you want to do,” Trump said. “I would be for opening more voting booths.”
And the president said he’s OK with absentee voting. “I totally support [that],” Trump responded. “That’s a great thing.”
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) on Tuesday sued New Jersey over Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters, saying Murphy’s move is illegal and will create a “recipe for disaster” for voter fraud.
“In a direct usurpation of the legislature’s authority, Gov. Murphy issued Executive Order 177 … purporting to rewrite the election code for the November 2020 election. This brazen power grab was not authorized by state law and violates both the Elections Clause and Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution and federal law,” the lawsuit alleges.
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