Trump has targeted Nevada and Michigan, a critical swing state that he won with just over 10,000 votes in 2016. Trump has incorrectly stated that Michigan plans to send a postal ballot to every voter for the 2020 elections. The state announced Tuesday that it is sending a mail-in ballot, not a ballot, to every registered voter.
Georgia’s Secretary of State, a Republican, announced a similar plan earlier this year, one that would have been developed in coordination with the Trump campaign. Republican secretaries of state from other countries, including Iowa and West Virginia, have also decided to send mail-in ballot requests to all voters.
In a second tweet on Wednesday, Trump also suggested that he would block Nevada federal funding after his Republican secretary of state decided to send voters a ballot for the state’s June 9 primary. Faced with a Democrats-led trial, Clark County, where 70% of voters live, agreed to send ballots not only to active voters, but to inactive voters whom state suspects have moved. Republicans argue that this decision makes ballots vulnerable to fraud.
Several studies have shown that electoral fraud is extremely rare, and Trump himself voted by mail in Florida earlier this year.
“President Donald Trump’s statement is false. The Elections Office mails the names of missing voters, not the ballots, “said Jake Rollow, spokesman for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, in a statement. “Nominations are sent by mail to almost all electoral cycles both by the main parties and by countless defense and non-partisan organizations.”
But Benson’s effort could still face a court challenge, the Detroit Free Press reported on Tuesday. In 2008, the Michigan Court of Appeal ruled that a local clerk could not automatically send electors over the age of 60 a request for a postal vote, a decision that could be used to challenge the state’s decision. .
Trump’s tweets point to the escalation of the postal vote between Republicans and Democrats. Democrats are actively working to expand postal voting options in the midst of the pandemic, while Republicans are allocating at least $ 20 million to oppose these efforts. Republicans have generally been open to plans to send requests to voters, but have firmly resisted efforts to automatically send ballots.
Wednesday’s tweets intensified the fight, suggesting that the president may interfere in national elections. It is unclear if he has the power to freeze funds. A senior administration official said, “No decision has been made yet, discussions are underway.”
Congress approved $ 400 million in electoral assistance earlier this year, a small fraction of the $ 4 billion that experts estimate is needed. Michigan has asked for approximately $ 11.3 million in federal funds to help organize the elections this year and has spent $ 4.5 million to mail postal ballot requests.
Nevada has requested nearly $ 4.5 million in federal funding to facilitate postal voting this year. State officials have said they plan to use the money to print ballots and pay for postage and “a large-scale voter education campaign.”