President Donald Trump suggested delaying elections over the pandemic on Thursday.
Trump said that an election conducted by mail-in voting would lead to the “most INNACURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history.” The president has warned against Democratic calls for greatly expanding the absentee voting system for weeks, asserting that U.S. elections would be exponentially more vulnerable to fraud and abuse.
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s Thursday morning tweet is the first time he has suggested delaying the election over the pandemic. The president has previously been a proponent for reopening after states issued strict lockdown orders following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the United States in March.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted out a video of CBS News conducting an experiment in mail-in voting. “CBS News This Morning” co-host Tony Dokoupil sent out two batches of 100 mock ballots from different locations around Philadelphia and found that, even in his small experiment, some went missing.
As The Daily Wire reports:
After a week, 97% of the ballots Dokoupil mailed had been returned. “Three simulated persons, or 3% of voters, were effectively disenfranchised by mail by giving their ballots a week to arrive,” CBS noted. “In a close election, 3% could be pivotal.” Even four days after mailing the second round of fake ballots, 21% of the fake votes had failed to materialize. Almost half of states allow voters to receive ballots less than half-a-week before the election.
Attorney General William Barr has argued that Trump is correct about the danger of mail-in voting, while Democrats have accused Barr of making assertions without evidence. Barr has said that while he lacks evidence, he has “common sense” that suggests a massively expanded mail-in voting system would be chaos.
“Well, it absolutely opens the floodgates to fraud. Those things are delivered into mailboxes. They can be taken out,” Barr said in an interview on Fox News last month. “There’s questions about whether or not it even denies a secret ballot, because a lot of the states have you signing the outside of the envelope. So, the person who opens the envelope will know how people voted.”
“There’s no – right now, a foreign country could print up tens of thousands of counterfeit ballots, and be very hard for us to detect which was the right and which was the wrong ballot,” Barr continued. “So, I think it can upset and undercut the confidence in the integrity of our elections. If anything, we should tighten them up right now.”