Trump vows to block stimulus funding for mail-in voting and USPS
President Trump on Thursday told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that Democratic demands to fund mail-in voting and the U.S. Postal Service in ongoing coronavirus stimulus negotiations were a non-starter.
Why it matters: Trump directly linked Democrats' desired $3.6 billion for mail-in voting and $25 billion for the USPS to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.
- "Those are just two items. But if they don't get those two items, that means you can't have universal mail-in voting because they're not equipped to have it," Trump said.
- He claimed the 2020 election could lead to "the greatest fraud in history."
- The president expressed similar feelings during his press briefing on Wednesday. "They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can’t do it, I guess. ... Are they going to do it even if they don’t have the money?" he said.
Worth noting: Fraud from mail-in voting has historically been rare, according to the Brennan Center, with Oregon — a state that votes primarily by mail — documenting only about a dozen cases of fraud out of more than 100 million ballots since 2000.
What they're saying: Joe Biden responded to Trump's comments on Thursday, telling reporters at an event with Sen. Kamala Harris: "Pure Trump. He doesn’t want an election.”
- Earlier in the day, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates issued a statement calling Trump's comments "an assault on our democracy and economy by a desperate man who's terrified that the American people will force him to confront what he's done everything in his power to escape for months — responsibility for his own actions."
The big picture: While some states have moved to universal mail-in voting and others have expanded access amid the pandemic, the rules are different across the country.
- California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and D.C. are automatically sending voters mail-in ballots.
- Other states may require voters to opt-in to vote early or require an excuse to vote absentee.
- Axios has launched an interactive resource, built on research by RepresentUs, a nonpartisan election reform group, to help voters across the country to get the information they need on how to vote.
The other side: Congressional Democrats wrote to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy this week, urging him not to issue new directives for handling election mail ahead of November's general election.
- "Many state deadlines allow voters to request absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots within a few days of Election Day, so it is vital that standard delivery times remain low and pricing remain consistent with past practices to which election officials and voters are accustomed," they said.