The United States might have to do the 2020 election “again” because of mail-in voting, President Donald Trump suggested on Tuesday.
“You can’t take millions of ballots, send them haphazardly all over the country, or all over a state, and expect to come out properly,” the president told reporters at the White House.
“It’ll end up being a rigged election, or they’ll never come out with an outcome. They’ll have to do it again. And nobody wants that, and I don’t want that.”
Trump went off on mail-in voting when asked about negotiations with Democrats over funding for the U.S. Postal Service.
An unprecedented push to use mail-in ballots started earlier this year, fueled by health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Democrats want to make it a political issue. It’s not a political issue. It’s really about a correct vote. You have to get voting right. You can’t have millions and millions of ballots sent all over the place, sent to people that are dead, sent to dogs, cats, sent everywhere,” Trump said.
“This is a serious situation. This isn’t game, and you have to get it right. I just want to get it right. Win, lose, or draw, I think we’re going to win. Win, lose, or draw, we have to get it right.”
Cleta Mitchell, an attorney and former Democratic Oklahoma representative, at the White House for the signing of a proclamation on women’s voting rights, told reporters that multiple studies show millions of people are signed up to vote despite having changed addresses, being dead, or not being U.S. citizens.
Registrations pile up in the system from Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Service visits, with duplicates common, Mitchell said.
He later pointed to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s pronouncement that voting in person in November can be done safely.
Democrats have repeatedly accused Trump in recent days of trying to fix the election by tinkering with the U.S. Postal Service through Louis DeJoy, the postmaster general. DeJoy, a Trump donor, was appointed to his post independent of the president and has said operational changes are being made because the agency is facing a severe budget crisis. He is scheduled to testify before Congress on Aug. 24.
In an April Pew Research survey, 59 percent of respondents said they’re confident the election will be conducted fairly and accurately, though just 46 percent of Democrats expressed confidence.
After mail-in voting began being pushed across many states, Republican respondents said they were concerned about widespread fraud, according to a July Reuters/Ipsos poll. Majorities of both GOP and Democrat respondents said they were confident their ballot would be accurately counted if they voted by mail.
A split emerged in a recent Pew poll. Most Trump supporters said they prefer to vote in person while most Biden backers expressed a preference to voting by mail.