Trump attacks decision to add in-person voting center to California House race

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Because of the coronavirus, voters were encouraged to send ballots, with each voter receiving a pre-stamped ballot to fill out and return. But a limited number of in-person polling stations were long overdue, and one was recently added to Lancaster.

“The governor @GavinNewsom of California will not let restaurants, beaches and shops open, but he installs a voting system both in a very democratic area (supposed to be mail only) because our great candidate, @ MikeGarcia2020 , wins by a lot. CA25 rigged election! Trump tweeted on Saturday.

He also tweeted: “So in California, the Democrats, who fought like crazy to get all the ballot mail and succeeded, have just opened a polling station in the most democratic area of ​​the country. ‘State. They are trying to steal another election. Everything is rigged there. These votes should not count. SCAM! “

Lancaster, like the rest of the 25th arrondissement. tends to be more democratic. However, it is not the most democratic region in California, as Trump suggests. In the State Legislative Assembly, Lancaster is represented by two Republicans and the mayor, Rex Parris, is a Republican.

Democrats had expressed concern that Lancaster, who has a large African-American population, did not have a vote in person, arguing that voters were denied their voting rights which were more likely to vote in person on polling day. Parris supported the opening of the Lancaster voting center.

In a normal election, the 25th district of California would have approximately 1,000 polling stations available, a Smith campaign spokesperson told the Washington Post. Tuesday, because of the coronavirus, there will be 13, including Lancaster, he said.

On Saturday, Smith released a statement praising the decision to add a polling station to Lancaster. She also responded to Trump’s tweets, writing, “In California, we believe in extended voting rights. We also believe in the rights of states. Why you, Mr. Chairman? ”

Garcia echoed the President’s rhetoric on Twitter, accusing Smith and “his Liberal Dem allies” of being “desperate and trying to change the rules to steal an election. We cannot let them succeed !! ”

Postal voting was an option in the California election well before the threat of the spread of the coronavirus, which is not unique to this special election. District Republicans have traditionally been more likely than Democrats to send ballots by mail, while Democrats have tended to vote more heavily on election day.

More than one in four ballots was returned, which is high for a special election. Of all registered Republicans, 39 percent cast their ballots, registered Democrats, 25 percent and registered independents 19 percent, according to a returning poll tracker in California.

During the coronavirus epidemic, most election officials from both parties across the country recommended keeping in-person polling stations open in addition to extended mail voting to accommodate those who cannot or are not used to voting by mail.

Trump previously criticized the expansion of postal ballots.

“I think postal voting is a terrible thing,” said Trump in early April. “I think if you vote, you should go. … There is a lot of dishonesty with postal voting, postal ballots. ”

Amy Gardner contributed to this report.

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