President Donald Trump on Monday railed against what he called an ‘illegal late night coup’ in Nevada that he characterized as an attempt to ‘steal’ the election as pundits warn it could take a week or more to know November’s results thanks to mail-in voting.
Lawmakers in Nevada on Sunday passed a bill to have November’s vote be conducted by all mail-in ballots. The governor is expected to sign it, meaning Nevada will join several other states that have taken that option as a way to combat the coronavirus epidemic.
Trump and Republicans have warned that such moves will lead to voter fraud despite repeated studies that show that is not the case. The president decried Nevada’s move in a tweet Monday morning. The state is a critical one for November’s election.
‘In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!,’ he wrote.
President Donald Trump railed against what he called an ‘illegal late night coup’ in Nevada after state decides to let vote be conducted all by mail-in
Pundits warn Americans won’t know if Trump or Joe Biden won on election night because of time it will take to count mail-in votes; election results could take a week or more
The Republican Party has launched lawsuits in several states – including California – that are expanding their mail-in voting options in response to the pandemic. Seven states have decided to automatically mail ballots to voters without them having to request one. Five states already conduct elections by mail-in ballots. And many other states have allowed fear of the coronavirus to be used as a reason for requesting an absentee ballot.
The president spent Monday morning sending out a half a dozen tweets on the election, his approval rating and the coronavirus pandemic. He also claimed his visits to Texas and Florida last week showed strong support for his candidacy compared to rival Joe Biden.
‘My visits last week to Texas and Frorida (sp) had massive numbers of cheering people gathered along the roads and highways, thousands and thousands, even bigger (by far) than the crowds of 2016. Saw no Biden supporters, and yet some in the Fake News said it was an equal number. Sad!,’ he tweeted.
But mail-in voting remains a top topic on the president’s mind.
Trump has complained on many occasions Democrats are using the coronavirus to steal the election by expanding mail-in voting options.
But governors counter that mail-in voting is needed to prevent long lines at polling places. Additionally, most election workers tend to be retirees, who are more at risk for the virus due to their age.
And studies show low cases of voter fraud in mail-in voting.
‘The bottom line is that absentee and mail balloting are secure in America,’ Wendy Weiser, the director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center, told CNN. ‘Election officials, Republicans and Democrats alike, pretty much universally are confident in the system.’
Meanwhile, pundits are warning it’s unlikely Americans will know if Trump or Joe Biden is the winner on election night due to the many states using mail-in voting.
At least 77 per cent of voters in November will be able to vote by mail, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
And many states allow a mail-in ballot to be counted as long as it’s post marked by Election Day, meaning a final result may not be known for days after November 3.
Already the New York primary election has been affected by mail-in voting as the state has yet to complete the count for several primary races that took place on June 23.
And Pennsylvania’s board of elections saw tens of thousands of ballots arrived in the week after the June 2 primary election, many which were counted after an order from the governor. The state expects the same scenario in November.
‘I don’t think it’s penetrated enough in the average viewer’s mind that there’s not going to be an election night. The usual razzmatazz of a panel sitting around discussing election results — that’s dead,’ Brandon Finnigan, the founder of Decision Desk HQ, told The New York Times.
President Trump has stoked elections fears with his tweets and news interviews, leading Democrats to worry he will attempt to delegitimize the election.
‘This president is going to try to indirectly steal the election by arguing that mail-in ballots don’t work — they’re not real, they’re not fair,’ Biden told a virtual fundraiser last week.
Trump warned on Friday the United States would face its ‘biggest election disaster in history’ with mail-in ballots being used this fall.
‘This is going to be the biggest election disaster in history,’ Trump predicted of the November contest, adding the results may never be known.
‘You won’t know the election result for weeks, months, maybe years after. Maybe you’ll never know the election result. And that’s what I’m concerned with. It’ll be fixed. It’ll be rigged,’ he said at the White House during an event with police chiefs.
‘Watch what happens,’ he said.
Trump has, of late, refused to say if he’ll accept what happens in November.
Asked by Axios’ Jonathan Swan, in an interview to air Monday on HBO, the president wouldn’t say if he would accept the will of the voters but did argue Hillary Clinton hadn’t accepted the 2016 election.
‘Hillary Clinton didn’t accepted them. She’s still never accepted them,’ Trump said.
Clinton formally conceded to President Trump in both a private phone call and in a public speech after the election.
Trump has questioned the legitimacy of using mail-in ballots in November, an option many states are using to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. The president went as far to suggest postponing the election.
Last week Trump doubled down on his threat to delay November’s election, citing concerns mail-in voting could lead to a ‘rigged’ and ‘crooked’ result.
The president, in a brief news conference at the White House on Thursday evening, said he didn’t want to see the election delayed but also argued he didn’t want to see mail-in ballots go missing, indicating his opposition to mail-in voting remains an issue in regards to the general election.
President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to delay November’s election, citing concerns mail-in voting could lead to a ‘rigged’ and ‘crooked’ result
President Trump said he was concerned that mail-in voting, which many states are considering as an alternative to in-person voting to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, could lead to miss ballots and a ‘rigged’ election
Trump and some Republicans have pushed the unproven claim that mail-in voting leads to fraud and they’ve also questioned the ability of the U.S. Postal Service to get all the ballots delivered to the various state boards of election.
‘We’re asking for a lot of trouble,’ Trump said. ‘Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history.’
More and more states are looking at mail-in voting options as a way to counter the coronavirus pandemic but Republicans believe that favors voting blocs that vote Democrats and are suing several states to stop the process.
‘I don’t want to delay,’ Trump added. ‘I want to have the election. But I also don’t want to have to wait three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything. That what’s going to happen.’
‘And everyone knows it,’ he added. ‘Smart people know. Stupid people may not know it. Some people don’t want to talk about it. But they know it.’
Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail, sparking fears the problem could continue into November and affect the election.
Additionally, an internal report from the postal service warned almost half the states are not providing adequate time for workers to deliver ballots ahead of the election.
Several states affected are battleground ones that could decide if Trump or Biden is the next president and it’s big cities – which are hot beds of Democratic voters – that will likely be most affected.
U.S. Post Office is experiencing massive delays due to changes implemented by the post master general appointed by President Donald Trump – delays that could affect the election
An internal report from the Postal Service warned there are 24 states with deadlines close enough to the election that do provide or at high risk for not giving the post office time to deliver ballots before the election
Several states affected are battleground ones that could decide if Donald Trump or Joe Biden is the next president
But the delays are the result of changes put in place by Trump fundraiser-turned-postmaster general Louis DeJoy, The Washington Post reported, leading to allegations of that the election is being undermined by politics.
President Trump and his Republican allies have attacked the U.S. Post Office, saying the postal system cannot be trusted to deliver mail-in ballots to the various state boards of elections to be counted. The number of mail-in ballots is expected to be unusually high this year as states are expanding that voting option to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The changes DeJoy implemented include prohibiting overtime pay, shutting down sorting machines early and requiring letter carriers to leave mail to avoid extra trips or late delivery on routes. His supporters say the moves are to cut costs and help the debt-ridden service make its way to the black.
But postal workers told the newspaper that the changes have resulted in at least a two day delay in parts of the country along with bins and bins of unsorted, undelivered mail piling up in post offices.
Additionally, many states use a postmark to determine whether or not a ballot meets the deadline to be counted and the delays in processing could affect them, meaning a ballot that was mailed in time still may not have the election day post mark that many states require in order for it to be counted.
An internal report from the Postal Service warned there are 24 states with deadlines close enough to the election that do not provide or at high risk for not giving the post office time to deliver ballots before the election.
The states include the battleground states of New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Ohio.
‘Ballots requested less than seven days before an election are at a high risk of not being delivered, completed by voters, and returned to the election offices in time,’ the report stated.
Louis DeJoy is an American businessman and Republican Party fundraiser who was appointed in May 2020 by unanimous selection of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service to serve as the 75th United States Postmaster General
In Michigan, which is using expanded mail-in voting options for its August 4 primary and the general election, officials are encouraging voters to drop off their absentee ballot to their local clerks in person.
‘This close to the primary, Michiganders should return their absentee ballots to their clerk’s office directly, or submit them via their local ballot drop box, in order to ensure their vote is counted,’ Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a statement last week.
Benson became a target of Trump’s wrath in May when she mailed absentee ballot applications to the state’s 7.7 million registered voters. The president threatened to withhold federal funding from the state in return.
Post office workers spoke of their fears about the November election.
‘I’m actually terrified to see election season under the new procedure,’ said Lori Cash, president of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 183 in Western New York, told The Post.
David Partenheimer, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, responded that the delays were temporary and would not impact the upcoming election.
He called allegations DeJoy takes directions from President Trump are ‘wholly misplaced and off-base’ and pointed out the postmaster general is appointed by a bipartisan board of governors.
Michigan Postal Workers Union President Michael Mize described to a local news outlet how workers were no longer allowed to stay late at their distribution centers until all of the mail for their route was sorted and ready to be sent out.
‘Eventually this [is] going to cause long-term, large delays if we don’t do something,’ he said. He predicted big cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids would be most affected – areas that are heavy with Democratic voters.
The winner of the presidential election would not be sworn into office until Wednesday, January 20, 2021, which would give almost three months for all ballots to be counted.
In 2000, the winner of the George W. Bush and Al Gore contest was not declared until December 12 after numerous recounts in Florida and a ruling by the Supreme Court.