President Donald Trump came out strongly against attempts to expand mail-in voting by Democrats, arguing that the practice will increase the likelihood of voting fraud.
During Friday’s White House press briefing, ABC’s Jonathan Karl — citing concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak — asked the president if he feels the country should prepare to vote by mail in the November election.
“No, because I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting,” said Trump, who has been consistent in his support for voter identification laws, which can limit opportunities for fraudulent voting by requiring voters to present identification before obtaining a ballot.
“I think people should vote with ID, voter ID. I think voter ID is very important, and the reason they don’t want voter ID is because they intend to cheat,” Trump continued.
“It should be you go to a booth and you proudly display yourself. You don’t send it in the mail where people can pick up — all sorts of bad things can happen — by the time it gets in and is tabulated,” he said.
“You should vote at the booth. And you should have voter ID, because when you have voter ID, that’s the real deal,” he concluded.
President Trump: "The reason they don't want voter ID is because they intend to cheat." pic.twitter.com/BOUxuWgMQh
— The Hill (@thehill) April 4, 2020
In August, the president weighed in on a congressional debate surrounding election security.
“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!” he wrote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among a growing number of Democrats making a broad push to nationalize not only elections, but also voting by mail.
The California Democrat is seeking to allot $4 billion in a phase-four stimulus plan for voting by mail, Reuters reported.
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“Vote by mail is so important to … our democracy so that people have access to voting and not be deterred, especially at this time, by the admonition to stay home,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi said Friday that pushing citizens to participate in voting by mail is “essential” to protecting the integrity of the country’s elections.
“Vote by mail is essential to protecting the future of our democracy as we confront this public health crisis. There is no legitimate argument against enacting it,” Pelosi said on Twitter Friday.
Citing what she said the country’s Founders “had in mind,” Pelosi added, “in this next bill we hope to get more resources to vote by mail.”
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 3, 2020
Pelosi attempted to attach provisions in the phase three coronavirus stimulus bill that would have required states to mandate voting by mail and would have placed the country’s elections under the control of the federal government.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also pushed for voting by mail last month on Twitter when she shared a post from Democratic Party attorney Marc Elias, who claimed voting by mail will decrease risk for voters fearful of contracting the coronavirus.
“Congress needs to act to make voting by mail the norm going forward, with the specifics outlined by election expert Marc Elias below to make it accessible for all,” Clinton commented.
Congress needs to act to make voting by mail the norm going forward, with the specifics outlined by election expert Marc Elias below to make it accessible for all. https://t.co/K2TlHIJx2d
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 18, 2020
“While the RNC of course supports efforts to ensure that no voters are disenfranchised due to emergency protocols, national vote by mail would open the door to its own set of problems, such as potential election fraud and ballot harvesting,” Merritt said.
“Imposing a new system onto states unnecessarily will result in significant problems in the November election, and it is critical we work to preserve the integrity of the democratic process,” she concluded.