Trump says voting by mail will ‘lead to the end’ of the Republican Party

On Thursday evening, in an all-caps tweet, President Donald Trump once again attacked early voting — this time going so far to say that it could “lead to the end of our great Republican Party.”

Contrary to Trump’s claim, studies have shown that voting by mail does not actually benefit one party over the other.

Indeed, some solidly Republican states, like Utah, make extensive use of mail-in ballots, as do some swing states Republicans frequently win like Florida — where the president himself cast a mail-in ballot.

[Raw Story]

Trump Steps Up Attacks on Mail Vote, Making False Claims About Fraud

President Trump on Wednesday escalated his assault against mail voting, falsely claiming that Michigan and Nevada were engaged in voter fraud and had acted illegally, and threatening to withhold federal funds to those states if they proceed in expanding vote-by-mail efforts.

The president inaccurately accused the two states of sending mail ballots to its residents. In fact, the secretaries of state in Michigan and Nevada sent applications for mail ballots, as election officials have done in other states, including those led by Republicans.

The Twitter posts were the latest in a series of broadsides the president has aimed at a process that has become the primary vehicle for casting ballots in an electoral system transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.

As most states largely abandon in-person voting because of health concerns, Mr. Trump, along with many of his Republican allies, have launched a series of false attacks to demonize mail voting as fraught with fraud and delivering an inherent advantage to Democratic candidates — despite there being scant evidence for either claim.

“Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election,” the president tweeted Wednesday morning. “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!”

An hour later he made a similar threat against Nevada, saying the state had created “a great Voter Fraud scenario” and adding “If they do, ‘I think’ I can hold up funds to the State.”

Mr. Trump’s outbursts come as the White House and his re-election campaign are confronting polls showing the president trailing his Democratic rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr., both nationally and in key swing states.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment or elaboration.Mr. Trump has often made threats about cutting off funding to states but has not always followed through. He has threatened in the past to withhold federal funds to sanctuary cities. Last month, he said he wanted Democratic states to give him “sanctuary-city adjustments” in exchange for federal financial relief. He has not yet followed through on the threat.

Michigan’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, quickly clarified on Wednesday that the state is not mailing ballots to all Michigan voters. On Wednesday she began mailing ballot applications to all registered voters.

“I was notified about the tweet this morning and it caught me off guard because it of course was inaccurate,” Ms. Benson, a Democrat, said in an interview. “It is nothing different from my Republican colleagues in other states are doing. It boggles my mind, that this, which is completely within my authority, would in any way be seen as controversial.”

Ms. Benson said she has already spent $4.5 million in federal CARES Act funding to mail voters ballot applications, which are also available online. She had previously sent absentee ballot applications to all voters for the state’s local elections on May 5.

Michigan voters who apply for absentee ballots for the August statewide primary for House and Senate races may also opt in to receive ballots for the November general election.

The president’s attack on Nevada is particularly confounding, given that the state’s effort to switch to a nearly-all-mail election was made by Secretary of State Barbara K. Cegavske, a Republican. Democrats have sued Ms. Cegavske to block her effort to close nearly all of the state’s in-person polling places for the June 9 primary and mail ballots to all registered voters.

“If it has not become apparent yet, Donald Trump makes stuff up,” said Marc Elias, the Democratic elections lawyer who is suing Ms. Cegavske to require more in-person polling places to remain open. “So I don’t think he has a particular objection other than someone has told him that he is losing in Michigan and in Nevada so today he decided to tweet about Michigan and Nevada.”

Ms. Cegavske’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

The president is scheduled to visit a Ford Motor plant that is manufacturing ventilators in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Thursday. This is his first trip to the state since January, and comes at a time when his campaign advisers are increasingly concerned about his chances there. Mr. Trump’s tweets a day ahead of the trip were seen as unhelpful to boosting his political standing in a critical state, and his political opponents immediately pounced on it.

Georgia’s Republican secretary of state and municipal officials in Milwaukee have also said they will send vote-by-mail applications to registered voters in hopes of easing stress on in-person voting locations. In Wisconsin, the state’s bipartisan election commission is meeting Wednesday to decide whether to mail ballot application forms to all registered voters and more than 200,000 people who are eligible to vote but not registered.

Some state Republican parties have been actively encouraging their supporters to vote by mail. In Pennsylvania, another state that recently passed a law to move to no-excuse vote by mail, the state Republican Party has set up an online portal that helps voters understand the new law.

Many states, including Michigan and Wisconsin, also allow voters to make online requests to have absentee ballots mailed to them.

The president himself, along with the first lady, Melania Trump, voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary in March.

Mr. Trump has long falsely asserted that absentee voting and vote by mail is rife with fraud, applying that argument into his constant complaints of “rigged elections” when he or his supported candidates are losing.

He has been casting doubts on mail voting since his first run for the presidency in 2016. During a rally in Colorado — one of the five states in the country that votes completely by mail — Mr. Trump implied without evidence that it was easy to vote twice.

Recently, Mr. Trump has been lashing out at both vote by mail and absentee voting, at first raising his allegations in April in a tweet and later decrying a decision in California to mail ballots to every voter for November as a “scam.” But the president has also been inconsistent on the issue: on the same day that he criticized the decision in California, he encouraged voters to mail in their ballots for a local congressional race.

Election experts noted that the process Mr. Trump criticized was actually a protective measure against voter fraud.

“A ballot application is returned to state officials who ensure that the information on it is accurate and the person applying for a ballot is entitled to get it,” said Richard L. Hasen, a professor at University of California, Irvine, who specializes in election law. “So it’s a safeguard.”

Mr. Hasen said that the broadsides from Mr. Trump follow a pattern of lashing out against expanding access to voting, even as there remains no evidence to support his claims.

“Trump seems to think that anything that makes it easier for people to vote is going to hurt him,” Mr. Hasen said, “and he’s consistently expressed the view that anything that makes it easier to vote leads to voter fraud when there is absolutely no evidence to support that claim.”

Though Mr. Trump did not specify which funds he was threatening to withhold from states during a pandemic, election officials and Democrats in Congress have been clamoring for more money to help hold the November elections safely.

But the money that has already been appropriated through the Help America Vote Act and the CARES Act is already “out the door” and on the way to states, according to election officials; there is no way for Mr. Trump or his administration to hold up those funds.

Mr. Elias, the elections lawyer, said Mr. Trump could seek to withhold other funds but predicted such a move would be invalidated by the courts.

“The president does not have authority to withhold funding to a state based on the idea that people in the state may vote,” he said.

Mr. Trump’s attacks on mail voting have come largely in states with little history of large numbers of people casting absentee ballots, like Wisconsin. But he has not addressed mail voting in states where it has long been popular, such as Florida and Arizona, and often used to great success by Republican campaigns. Nor has Mr. Trump denigrated mail voting in the five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington — that conduct elections entirely by mail.

[The New York Times]

Trump Baselessly Claims Google ‘Manipulated’ Millions of 2016 Votes: ‘My Victory Was Even Bigger Than Thought!’

President Donald Trump claimed Monday that Google manipulated 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, and called for the company to be sued.

“This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued,” said Trump. ” My victory was even bigger than thought!”

Trump did not link the source of his report, but he tagged conservative watch dog organization Judicial Watch. Psychologist and commentator Dr. Robert Epsteinmade similar claims while testifying before Congress in July.

Trump has repeatedly claimed he did not lose the popular vote, though reportsshow he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million in 2016.

He’s also previously blamed his popular vote loss on “illegal” votes, or those of undocumented immigrants.

[Mediaite]

Reality

Trump appears to be referring to the work of Robert Epstein, a researcher with a group based in Vista, Calif., called the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. Epstein testified in a Senate hearing in June about what he calls the “Search Engine Manipulation Effect” and claimed that his research shows Google’s search results pushed at least 2.6 milllion people to vote for Clinton in 2016.

In 2017, Google dismissed Epstein’s research, telling The Washington Post that it amounts to “nothing more than a poorly constructed conspiracy theory.”

Trump retweets conspiracy theory alleging ‘voter fraud is real’ — even though his government never could find it

President Donald Trump is once again spreading conspiracy theories to his 63 million Twitter followers.

On Tuesday evening, the commander-in-chief retweeted Trump fanboy Charlie Kirk arguing that voter fraud is real.

The tweet in question was originally sent on April 28th.

“Voter fraud is real,” Kirk argued.

“Los Angeles county has a registration rate of 112% its adult population,” he claimed. “The entire state of California has a registration rate of 101%. 11 of 58 counties in CA have registration rates above 100%.

“Is this why California is solid blue?” he asked, with a chin-scratching emoji.

Trump has long had a fixation on voter fraud. He inaccurately claimed that he only lost the popular vote in 2016 because of fraud. So in May of 2017, he created a commission to study the issue and appointed Vice President Mike Pence and then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to investigate.

The commission disbanded in January of 2018 and later that year Kobach lost his bid to be governor of Kansas.

[Raw Story]

Trump: Voter ID must play ‘very strong part’ in deal on election security

President Trump on Tuesday said Congress should not consider any “final agreement” on election security that does not include provisions mandating voters present identification while casting ballots. 

“No debate on Election Security should go forward without first agreeing that Voter ID (Identification) must play a very strong part in any final agreement. Without Voter ID, it is all so meaningless!” Trump tweeted Tuesday. 

Trump has long touted unfounded claims that he only lost the 2016 popular vote by 3 million ballots because of “millions of people who voted illegally.”

The president went on to retweet a post claiming without evidence that certain areas in California, a reliably blue state, have more registered voters than adults. 

The tweets come as Democrats pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to take up two election security bills that have passed through the House. The legislation requires the use of paper ballots, includes funding for the Election Assistance Commission and mandates candidates, campaign officials and their family members to notify the FBI if foreign governments offer assistance.

McConnell has resisted calls to take up the bills, saying Democrats are trying to give themselves a “political benefit” and the request “is not a serious effort to make a law.”

Democrats renewed their calls for the Senate to boost election security after former special counsel Robert Mueller, who spent two years investigating Russia’s election meddling in 2016, testified last month that Moscow is seeking to replicate its efforts next year. 

“Mueller’s testimony was a clarion call for election security. Mueller’s testimony should be a wake-up call to every American, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, that the integrity of our elections is at stake. … This is all about the future of this country,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said last month.

[The Hill]

Donald Trump Thinks You Need ID To Buy Cereal

President Donald Trump expressed the extent of his knowledge on voter ID laws Wednesday when he said that buying a box of cereal requires identification.

As midterm election votes for the governor of Georgia continue to be counted, along with a recount of votes for governor and Senate positions in Florida, Trump has baselessly claimed that Democratic operatives are attempting to steal the election. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) himself said late last week that there was no evidence of voter fraud.

 

He doubled down in an interview with The Daily Caller on Wednesday when he called for more voter ID laws.

“The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes,” Trump said, without evidence. “When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”

He then added, “If you buy a box of cereal — you have a voter ID.”

There’s a lot to unpack here, which The Daily Caller did a very thorough job of not doing. Is the president saying buying cereal requires identification? Maybe he’s referencing that some businesses require a photo ID when paying with a personal check? Or maybe he means to suggest that for certain individuals, a box of cereal itself could act as identification (we’re looking at you, Toucan Sam, Tony the Tiger, Cap’n Crunch and that Trix rabbit).

This is at least the second time the president has suggested identification is needed to buy groceries. In a July rally in Florida, Trump boasted about his supposed knowledge of both identification laws and grocery shopping.

“You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card. You need ID,” Trump said at the time.

The July statement caused even The New York Times to ask: Has this man ever shopped at a grocery store before? The publication talked to close friends and personal associates of Trump, who could not confirm the president has ever shopped at a grocery store.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

[Huffington Post]

Donald Trump Makes Absurd Claim That Illegal Voters Change into Disguise in Their Car and That’s Why Republicans Lose

Illegal voters, after having already cast their ballots, head to their cars and change outfits in order to vote again, according to President Donald Trump in an interview released Wednesday. The president also stressed what he believed to be the necessity for voter IDs in elections.

The president made his claims just over a week removed from major Republican losses in the House and in governor’s races, with Democrats picking up 33 seats in the House and flipping control for the first time since 2010.

Trump pegged Republican losses to voter fraud, similar to his unfounded excuse for not winning the popular vote over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

“The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes,” Trump said in an interview with The Daily Caller, a conservative news and opinion site. “When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States.

Several reports have indicated the president was angry over losing the House to Democrats, and a week ago he even called out Republicans who lost their seats for not accepting his “embrace.”

The president also reiterated previous false statements about voters requiring identification to purchase food, and thus should have the same requirement when voting.

“If you buy a box of cereal—you have a voter ID,” Trump told the conservative news outlet. “They try to shame everybody by calling them racist, or calling them something, anything they can think of when you say you want voter ID. But voter ID is a very important thing.”

Trump also called for the firing of Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, as she faced accusations of impropriety while the county continues to tally ballots.

llegal voters, after having already cast their ballots, head to their cars and change outfits in order to vote again, according to President Donald Trump in an interview released Wednesday. The president also stressed what he believed to be the necessity for voter IDs in elections.

The president made his claims just over a week removed from major Republican losses in the House and in governor’s races, with Democrats picking up 33 seats in the House and flipping control for the first time since 2010.

Trump pegged Republican losses to voter fraud, similar to his unfounded excuse for not winning the popular vote over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

“The Republicans don’t win and that’s because of potentially illegal votes,” Trump said in an interview with The Daily Caller, a conservative news and opinion site. “When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles. Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States.

Several reports have indicated the president was angry over losing the House to Democrats, and a week ago he even called out Republicans who lost their seats for not accepting his “embrace.”

The president also reiterated previous false statements about voters requiring identification to purchase food, and thus should have the same requirement when voting.

“If you buy a box of cereal—you have a voter ID,” Trump told the conservative news outlet. “They try to shame everybody by calling them racist, or calling them something, anything they can think of when you say you want voter ID. But voter ID is a very important thing.”

Trump also called for the firing of Broward County Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, as she faced accusations of impropriety while the county continues to tally ballots.

[Newsweek]

Trump Baselessly Continues Florida Voter Fraud Claims: ‘Honest Vote Count No Longer Possible’

President Donald Trump declared that “an honest vote count is no longer” in the controversial Florida midterm elections for the state’s governor and U.S. Senate positions, claiming without evidence that many of the ballots are “missing or forged.”

The two races, Florida Governor Rick Scott Scott versus Democratic Senator Bill Nelson for the Senate seat and former Rep. Ron DeSantis verses Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum for governor, appeared to be going for Republicans on election night. As more ballots were counted in Democratic-leaning areas, like Broward County and Palm Beach, additional votes started going to Democrats, which narrowed the GOP’s lead and triggered a recount.

“The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged,” Trump tweeted on Monday morning. “An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”

The president did not include any evidence to back up his claims of voter fraud.

Florida does offer military and overseas voters “a 10-day extension exists for overseas voters” extension for their ballots to be counted, which is what the president may be talking about in his line about “new ballots” showing up “out of nowhere.”

“The overseas voter’s vote-by-mail ballot must be postmarked or dated by Election Day and received within 10 days of the election in order to be counted, provided the ballot is otherwise proper,” states Florida’s election information site. “This 10-day extension only applies in presidential preference primary elections, general elections, and special elections and special primary elections (by operation of section 100.191, F.S.)”

Florida officials have also noted that they have not seen any evidence of voter fraud taking place.

[Mediaite]

Trump Suggests He Will Call For New Election in Arizona: ‘SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH’

The President of the United States is floating the possibility of throwing out the results of an entire Senate election and calling for a new vote — alleging electoral corruption.

In a Friday afternoon tweet sent from somewhere over the Atlantic — as he’s currently on board Air Force One en route to France — President Donald Trump floated the possibility of a new election in Arizona, where the votes are still being tabulated in the Senate contest between Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Martha McSally (R). The reason for the drastic action, according to Trump? “Electoral corruption.”

“Just out — in Arizona,” Trump wrote. “SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption – Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!”

The presidential dispatch was sent at 3:33 p.m. ET. Twenty-seven minutes earlier, a report on the Arizona Senate contest aired on Fox News. In it, correspondent Dan Springer stated the following:

“There are still just under 500,000 votes to count. Nearly all are in Maricopa [County]. And that’s where a legal drama is brewing. The Republican party sued over the handling of ballots where the signature either wasn’t there or didn’t match…a short time ago, the Republican Party chairman accused the Maricopa County recorder — a Democrat — of destroying evidence by mixing in disputed ballots in with all the others.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Baselessly Alleges Florida Election Fraud in Wild Rant: ‘You Notice the Votes Never Go the Other Way…’

During a White House pool spray on Friday morning, President Donald Trump went off on a wild rant baselessly floating the idea of foul play in the narrow elections in Florida for Senate and Governor — which soon spun off into a rant about corruption at large.

Speaking with reporters before departing for Paris, Trump baselessly claimed that votes tend to go for Democrats in contested elections.

“You notice the votes never go the other way?” Trump said. “They hire lawyers, and the votes don’t ever seem to go the Republican way…I don’t know. You tell me. It’s always the Democrats.”

Those comments led to the rant about “crooked stuff.”

“It’s always GPS Fusion,” the president said. “It’s always crooked stuff. Look at what happened. How many FBI are gone, how many Justice Department people are gone that I found out?…There’s a lot of bad stuff going on in this country, and we’re finding out. And I’m getting to the bottom of it. And I’ve done a hell of a job.”

[Mediaite]

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