GOP leader jumps at chance to spread Trump's lies about voting

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People are not voting after the election is over, no matter what Trump and his allies would have you believe.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy argued during a press conference on Wednesday that people should not be allowed to vote after an election is over, and said that every American agrees with him.

Asked by a reporter whether he thought Donald Trump should be "sowing doubt about the integrity of our elections," McCarthy dismissed the reporter's concerns.

"Your questions never change, no, I know, your questions never change," he said. "Okay. Now I can give my answer. Your questions never change. I think what the president wants to see is that every legal vote gets counted, and that's what we're walking through right now."

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The reporter pressed further.

"Do you agree with the president, should they stop counting votes?" he asked.

"Again, your questions never change," answered McCarthy. "What the president wants to make sure is that every legal vote is counted. The people vote up until Election Day, not the days after, as others would have."

He said that's what Trump was concerned about.

"I don't think people should be able to vote today, and I think every American would feel that exact same way," McCarthy added. "That's exactly what the president was expressing. I know you want to try to express something different to it. I know you'll be upset if the president wins reelection again, but the American people have a voice. ... This is what a republic and a democracy is about. And we want to make sure it's legal, it's fair, and that every legal vote is counted, and that's what we're working toward. But I don't think people should vote after the election, no."

McCarthy brushed off a follow-up question about whether he had any evidence that individuals were voting after the election.

He also quickly disappeared from the podium a few minutes later when a reporter asked if he had any evidence of voter fraud.

The House minority leader's statements were downright misleading.

Though laws vary by state as to how long legally cast ballots — those cast prior to the election deadline — can be counted if they arrive after Election Day, no state in the nation allows people to vote after the election is over.

McCarthy echoed erroneous claims Trump made earlier in the day.

"We'll be going to the U.S. Supreme Court — we want all voting to stop," the White House occupant told a gathering of supporters.

According to the Associated Press, Democratic nominee Joe Biden's team called Trump's claims that he would stop Americans from voting "outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect."

"The counting will not stop. It will continue until every duly cast vote is counted," said Jen O'Malley Dillion, Biden's campaign manager. "Because that is what our laws — the laws that protect every Americans' constitutional right to vote — require."

She noted in a statement that Trump's efforts represent "a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens."

Election law expert Richard Hasen wrote for Slate that Trump's claims were "preposterous," and that counting properly cast ballots does not amount to voting after Election Day.

"No state fully counts their ballots on election night," he wrote. "Returns are unofficial and always contain errors. Many states allow military ballots to arrive for days after Election Day. Counting generally continues for days and weeks after Election Day, and results are not certified until weeks after."

Republicans have fought back against states extending their deadlines for counting late-arriving mail-in ballots, with more voters choosing to vote absentee rather than in person during the coronavirus pandemic. In pending litigation in Pennsylvania, the GOP is attempting to stop such ballots from being counted.

And U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Wednesday held a hearing on the United States Post Office's failure to comply with his order to make sure all ballots still located at a number of post offices were delivered. "The postmaster's going to have to be deposed or appear before me. I'm not going to forget it," Sullivan said.

But all of these controversies concern the counting of validly cast ballots. Despite McCarthy's and Trump's claims, there is no evidence that anyone is voting after Election Day.

"There has never been any basis to claim that a ballot arriving on time cannot be counted if officials cannot finish their count on election night," Hasen wrote in Slate. "Counting legitimate ballots is not stealing or flipping the election, and no amount of spin can make it otherwise."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.