President Donald Trump claimed the November election would be “rigged” if mail-in ballots were allowed.
The president claimed without evidence that “MILLIONS” of mail-in ballots “WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS.” He referred to it as “THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES.”
RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020
The president’s tweet follows a claim he made last week, when he cited mail-in voting as his “biggest risk” of not winning reelection this November in an interview with Politico.
“My biggest risk is that we don’t win lawsuits,” Trump said. “We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don’t win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk.”
Politico asked the president the following two questions: Would a substantial amount of mail-in voting — which is widely expected because of coronavirus — cause him to question the legitimacy of the election? And would he accept the results no matter what?
“Well, you can never answer the second question, right? Because Hillary kept talking about she’s going to accept, and they never accepted it. You know. She lost too. She lost good,” was his response.
Trump and Republicans have repeatedly disparaged vote-by-mail options in response to criticisms from voting rights advocates who’ve expressed safety concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.
But a study from Stanford University’s Democracy and Polarization Lab published in April found that contrary to the widely-held belief among the GOP that vote-by-mail gives Democrats an advantage over Republicans, vote-by-mail options do not benefit one party more than another.
“By comparing counties that adopt a vote-by-mail program to counties within the same state that do not adopt the program, we are able to compare the election outcomes and turnout behavior of voters who have different vote-by-mail accessibility but who have the same set of candidates on the ballot for statewide races,” researchers wrote.