Trump Says Vote-By-Mail Supporters Are Trying to Exploit Pandemic

May 24, 2020 Updated: May 24, 2020

President Donald Trump said that mail-in voting shouldn’t be conducted in the United States, saying that supporters of vote-by-mail are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to push for the policy.

“The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history,” Trump wrote on Twitter, expressing concern that people might commit voter fraud by retrieving mailed ballots, duplicating them by the thousands, and forging signatures.

“Trying to use Covid for this Scam!” Trump wrote.

Since winning the election in 2016, Trump has been an opponent of mail-in voting. But as more states and authorities consider vote-by-mail to limit the spread of COVID-19, the president has ramped up his criticism.

Last week, the president said he could withhold funding to states that allow voting in that manner.

“Mail-in ballots are very dangerous. There is tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality,” Trump told reporters as he met with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat. On Twitter at around the same time, he said that funding could be withheld to Nevada and Michigan.

“When you send out 7.7 million mail-in ballots, there’s forgeries, there’s frankly duplication where they print ballots on the same kind of paper with the same kind of machinery, and you can’t tell the difference and then send in thousands and thousands of fake ballots,” Trump said.

Virus Outbreak Nebraska Primary 2020
Disinfecting wipes stand at the ready at the Lancaster County Election Committee offices in Lincoln, Neb., on April 14, 2020. (Nati Harnik/AP Photo)

Amid the CCP virus pandemic, more Americans have expressed a willingness to vote by mail, according to several polls.

A USA Today–Suffolk University poll in early May found that 65 percent of respondents endorsed mail-in voting. Only 32 percent opposed it, and 3 percent said they were undecided.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick last week lashed out at the efforts to expand vote-by-mail in the state, saying it’s an attempt to sway the election.

“There is no reason—capital N, capital O—no reason that anyone under 65 should be able to say I am afraid to go vote,” Patrick told Fox News. “Have they been to a grocery store? Have they been to Walmart? Have they been to Lowe’s? Have they been to Home Depot? Have they been anywhere? Have they been afraid to go out of their house?

“This is a scam by the Democrats to steal the election.”