US President Donald Trump has rejected the plans to conduct voting by mail in Michigan and Nevada for the upcoming 2020 presidential election to be held on November 3 this year, in which he will be facing off Democrat, Joe Biden. On Wednesday, May 21, 2020, Trump threatens to stop federal funding for the two mentioned states but later dropped the warning after Democrats hurled a series of attacks.
Trump Opposed Postal Voting
Trump argued that the method of postal voting could lead to voter fraud and stated that he opposed the expansion of the mail-in voting in the two states, pivotal states for Trump’s November re-election bid. Nonetheless, several studies showed little evidence of voter fraud connected to postal voting. Trump termed the method of voting by mail as “a very dangerous thing.”
With the coronavirus pandemic affected public life across the country, many states have started pushing to expand vote-by-mail options as a safer alternative for the November election, and Republicans led by Trump were opposing such proposals. Once the proposal is accepted then the state governments will implement or set their own rules for voting.
Trump wrote on Twitter, “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!” and he also warned to stop Nevada’s federal funding, as it tried to implement a similar move. However, Trump later took back his threats on the funding and told reporters at the White House “I don’t think it’s going to be necessary.”
Democrats Supported the Moves
Democrats supported the initiatives of the two states and considered the moves as necessary to counter health risks from the coronavirus by avoiding crowds at polling places while Republicans countered the voting measure.
A Democratic fellow and the Secretary of state of Michigan, Jocelyn Benson said on Tuesday that all 7.7 million voters of the state would be receiving absentee ballot applications before the August 4 state primaries and the November general election so no one “has to choose between their health and their right to vote.” Nevada has also made similar action and started preparing for postal voting from June 9 and would send absentee ballot applications to registered voters.
Benson mentioned on Twitter that Republican counterparts in Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, and West Virginia also were sending absentee ballot applications to voters. She insisted, “Every Michigan registered voter has a right to vote by mail. I have the authority & responsibility to make sure that they know how to exercise this right.”
Citing Trump’s tweets were designed to discourage voter turnout, Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Molly Forgey said, “The president’s tweet is just another tactic in the GOP’s handbook of voter suppression.” Nonetheless, last month Republicans disapproved of a move by Wisconsin’s Democratic governor to make primary an all-mail election amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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