NATIONWIDE — There is nothing stopping the 2020 presidential election, but the coronavirus crisis has some people concerned about standing in line with other people to vote. And while some states are preparing for vote-by-mail, President Donald Trump has criticized the process.
What You Need To Know
- President continues to criticize the voting-by-mail process.
- Without evidence, president said mailed ballots allow for widespread fraud.
- However, president cast a ballot by mail earlier this year
Trump continues to criticize the voting-by-mail process, taking to Twitter on Wednesday and threaten to pull funding in Michigan even if vote-by-mail is allowed there.
Michigan sends absentee ballot applications to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2020
"There's a lot of illegalities. They send in ballots that they, they harvest ballots, you know all about harvesting, and they do lots of bad things," Trump tweeted.
The president targeted Michigan with the inaccurate tweet on its voting plans and also went after Nevada in the latest — and the most confused — episode in his campaign against mail-in voting.
As states have shifted to remote voting, following health officials recommendations on safety, Trump has denigrated the practice and sought to limit access. He has said repeatedly, without evidence, that mailed ballots allow widespread fraud and has worried publicly that wide availability could lead so many people to vote that Republicans would lose in November.
Wednesday marked the first time Trump has tried to use federal aid money to beat it back.
Trump began by going after Michigan, misstating Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s announcement that she would send applications for absentee ballots to every voter in the state. Though Republican secretaries of state have taken this step elsewhere, Trump pounced on the move in a state key to his reelection hopes.
It was not clear exactly what funds Trump was referencing, but the states are paying for the voting changes with federal aid intended to support elections during the pandemic. By Wednesday evening, Trump told reporters he had spoken with Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and did not think funding would have to be cut.
The president, even though he lives in Washington D.C., is legally a Florida resident and he himself cast a ballot by mail earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Office in Sanford where election officials there have already sent out applications for voters to vote by mail.
They were sent a couple of weeks ago, and by filling it out, a person can vote by mail for the Florida Primary in August and for the General Election in November.
And Democrats, who see mail voting as improving their chances in the presidential election, are pushing more voting-by-mail.
Their pressure on state officials, including the governor, helped lead to Florida’s Secretary of State to finally accept eligible federal money designed to help states make this year’s elections safer.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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