Trump: Republicans ‘should fight very hard’ against expanded mail-in voting
President Trump on Wednesday urged Republicans to “fight very hard” against expanding mail-in voting, portraying ballot access as a partisan issue amid concerns that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will make going to the polls unsafe.
“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans,” Trump wrote in a tweet that appeared to be inspired by a segment “Fox & Friends.”
The president’s tweet marks his latest rebuke of mail-in voting in the last several days. It also comes the day after voters in Wisconsin headed to the polls for the state’s primary after the state Supreme Court blocked an executive order to delay the election due to the pandemic.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that vote-by-mail is “corrupt” and fosters potential for voter fraud, though Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington already conduct their elections by mail and there is no evidence of widespread fraud in those states.
“I think mail-in voting is horrible. It’s corrupt,” Trump said Tuesday.
When a reporter noted that Trump voted by mail in Florida’s primary last month, the president suggested it was different because he lives out of state.
Democrats have pushed for expanded funding for voting as part of legislation to respond to the coronavirus. Democratic leaders have argued states should be prepared to conduct mail-in voting in November in the event the pandemic continues late into the year and prevents volunteers and voters from getting to polling places.
“It’s about our democracy, it’s about our democracy when it’s even a physical challenge to vote, so we want to have more resources to vote by mail, more same-day registration, more states sending ballots to those who are qualified to vote,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday on CNN.
Trump and other Republicans have largely rejected the idea of widespread vote-by-mail, with some arguing it would harm the electoral prospects of GOP candidates.