President Trump wrote to Twitter, “GET RID OF BALLOT HARVESTING, IT IS RAMPANT WITH FRAUD. THE USA MUST HAVE VOTER I.D., THE ONLY WAY TO GET AN HONEST COUNT!”
Trump is keeping up his “full-court press” against efforts by Democrats and even some Republicans to expand voting by mail and absentee ballot this November due to health threats from the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News reports.
In previous weeks, President Trump argued during daily Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House that “mail-in voting is horrible. It’s corrupt.”
“You get thousands and thousands of people sitting in someone’s living room signing ballots all over the place… I think that mail-in voting is a terrible thing,” Trump said.
“It shouldn’t be mail-in voting,” Trump added. “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.”
A reporter pointed out that the president voted by mail in Florida’s primary election last month. Trump responded, “Sure. I can vote by mail…because I’m allowed to.”
“I happened to be at the White House,” the president said, explaining that he wasn’t able to go to Florida where he’s registered to vote in order to cast a ballot in person.
Trump continued, “There’s a big difference between somebody’s that out-of-state and does a ballot and everything’s sealed, certified, and everything else.”
“There’s a lot of dishonesty going along with mail-in voting,” Trump said.
GET RID OF BALLOT HARVESTING, IT IS RAMPANT WITH FRAUD. THE USA MUST HAVE VOTER I.D., THE ONLY WAY TO GET AN HONEST COUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2020
More from Fox News:
Ballot harvesting – also known as vote harvesting – is political speak for a practice in which organized workers, activists, or volunteers collect absentee or mail-in ballots and drop them off at a polling location or election office. It’s legal in some states and illegal in others. The term – which carries a negative connotation – suggests voting improprieties or even election fraud.
Republicans claim that ballot harvesting in California in 2018 – where it was legal – helped Democrats sweep U.S. House races, and regain the majority in the chamber. But a case of ballot harvesting in a 2018 congressional race in North Carolina – where the practice was illegal – led to a new special election and charges against a Republican operative.
Meanwhile, in Nevada, Democrats now want to suspend ballot-harvesting prosecutions…
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The recent attacks by the president are his latest claims — disputed by critics and opponents — regarding voter fraud, which he insists kept him from winning the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election. While Trump crushed Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College vote to win the White House, the Democratic nominee topped Trump by nearly 3 million votes in the national popular count.
Five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington – vote entirely by mail. A majority of states allow no-excuse absentee balloting.
With the coronavirus outbreak forcing social distancing and keeping most Americans in their homes in hopes of preventing a spread of the virus, the Democratic presidential nomination calendar was upended, with many states delaying their remaining primary elections or transforming them nearly entirely to voting by mail and absentee balloting — though the presidential primary is now essentially over.
Among the states moving to the vote-by-mail option is Ohio. The state’s in-person voting – which was scheduled for March 17 – was scrapped at the last minute due to coronavirus health concerns.
Under a bill passed by the state’s legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, postcards are being sent to every registered voter to explain how they can obtain a vote-by-mail application. Ballots must be postmarked by April 27 to be counted. The state will allow an extremely limited group of people – mostly disabled voters – to cast a ballot in person on April 28.
But last week Wisconsin became the first state to hold in-person voting during the pandemic.
Two last-minute moves by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and allied progressive and voting rights groups to postpone in-person voting and extend the deadline to vote by absentee ballot due to health concerns amid the pandemic were opposed by the GOP-controlled legislature and squashed by Wisconsin’s conservative-dominated Supreme Court.
And a push to extend absentee balloting was also shot down by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that was supported by the justices nominated by Republican presidents and opposed by those nominated by Democrats.