In what critics might view as a preview of his remarks on the second night of the Republican National Convention, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to lie about mail-in voting, claiming that implementing it would result in a “catastrophic disaster.”
“For our Country to be sending 80 million UNSOLICITED BALLOTS is very unfair and a roadmap to disaster,” he wrote, without citing any evidence for his claim. “Even recent small and easier to control elections which did this are a catastrophic disaster. Fraudulent & missing Ballots like never seen before. 20% and 30% off. STOP!”
For our Country to be sending 80 million UNSOLICITED BALLOTS is very unfair and a roadmap to disaster. Even recent small and easier to control elections which did this are a catastrophic disaster. Fraudulent & missing Ballots like never seen before. 20% and 30% off. STOP!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2020
The president has often tried to confuse the public about mail-in voting. For starters, voting via absentee ballot is the same thing as voting by mail.
“Absentee is great, but universal [mail-in voting] is going to be a disaster, the likes of which our country has never seen. It’ll end up being a rigged election, or they will never come out with an outcome,” Trump said last week.
The president 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.
A study released in April from Stanford University’s Democracy and Polarization Lab 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.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.