Trump’s trashing of mail-in voting threatens to undermine GOP turnout in the 2018 elections
As millions of voters head to the polls in November, the president is trying to turn them away from the system they love.
He’s mocking mail-in voting, claiming a recent study proved it’s rigged and demanding that the U.S. Justice Department investigate the validity of the method. And his administration is working to make it harder for people to vote.
But in doing so, he’s also undermining the Republican party’s own effort to win over America’s independent voters and bolster its vote share in the November midterms.
A mail-in vote is when a voter drops off their ballot at a polling place and chooses not to vote by returning their ballot by mail.
Republicans say voters tend to vote early and often. About 60 percent of voters cast their ballots in the last two weeks, according to recent Gallup polling.
President Donald Trump, in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, argues that “millions of votes have already been cast by mail” and have been “counted correctly.”
But Trump is wrong. A recent analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law concludes that nearly 40 percent of mail-ins have been “counted incorrectly” and that even when voting was accurately counted, the number of mail-ins casting ballots was “very low.”
That’s why it’s so important for Republicans to keep up their efforts to expand mail-in voting. If they fail to do so — due, in large part, to Trump’s efforts to undermine it — Republicans will likely lose an ally they have worked hard to create.
Trump’s campaign has called for a new vote-by-mail law that would give the incoming president a chance to send out ballots to all of the citizens who wish to vote during an election.
A new law wouldn’t necessarily make it harder for Republicans to win.
But it has the potential to be an effective electoral tool, as long as Republicans make it clear that the votes won’t count unless they’re counted.
Trump didn’t mention vote by mail by name during his letter to Sessions on Monday, referring instead to it as “our process.”
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