Trump is worried that if states make it easier for people to vote, Republicans will be voted out of office.
Donald Trump on Monday offered insight into why Republican lawmakers opposed a Democratic proposal in the coronavirus relief package that would've allowed states to shift their 2020 elections to all-mail ballots.
"If you look at before and after, the things they had in [the bill] were crazy," Trump told "Fox & Friends" on Monday morning. "They had things, levels of voting that if you ever agreed to it you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again."
Democrats have been pushing for a shift to absentee ballots in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that states could still hold elections even if the virus is still raging in November.
Already, a number of states that do not allow for no-excuse absentee voting — that is, allowing voters to vote by mail for any reason — have had to postpone their primary contests, as requiring voters to show up at polling sites, and possibly wait in crowded lines for hours, could further spread the virus.
"Without federal action, Americans might have to choose between casting a ballot and protecting their health. That’s wrong, and we must take swift action to address the problem," Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Ron Wyden of Oregon — who introduced a bill to shift states to all-mail elections — wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. "The best way to ensure that this virus doesn’t keep people from the ballot box is to bring the ballot box to them. We must allow every American the ability to vote by mail."
Democrats initially proposed $4 billion to help states expand absentee voting, increase early voting, and allow states to ensure that any in-person voting sites were safe should the pandemic still be raging in November, according to NPR.
However, Republicans cut funding back to just $400 million for election security, amounting to less than $10 million per state — not nearly enough to transition to all-mail voting by Election Day 2020.
Absentee voting has increased dramatically across the country in recent years. Three states — Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — vote exclusively by mail and have no in-person voting. Other states such as Arizona and California have dramatically increased the availability of absentee ballots.
Experts say absentee ballots are actually cheaper for states than in-person voting. They also decrease long lines at polling sites and allow workers who cannot easily get off work on Election Day to easily cast ballots.
But some Republicans have come out against the voting method, falsely saying that it increases the risk of fraud.
"Unbelievable @SpeakerPelosi. She wants to make national voting open for fraud n the midst of a national crisis. What nerve?? What’s does this have to do w the Coronavirus outbreak???" Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) tweeted, apparently not understanding that Democrats were trying to stop the election from being canceled over the coronavirus.
Now Trump has admitted that opposition to making it easier for people to vote isn't about concerns of fraud — it's about fears that making it easier for people to vote will mean Republicans will be voted out of office.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.