President Donald Trump appeared to tell “Mornings with Maria” on Thursday that he opposes giving money to the United States Postal Service (USPS) in the new coronavirus relief package, saying it would aid in massive voter fraud this November.
“[Democrats] want $3.5 billion dollars for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent,” Trump said. “That’s election money basically. They want $3.5 billion dollars for the mail-in votes. Universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion — billion — for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”
The USPS Board of Directors requested the $25 billion in funding, not Democrats, according to Government Executive and CNN. But Democrats have been pushing for $10 billion for the Postal Service, per the Associated Press.
The president also said that without the money, nationwide mail-in voting would be nearly impossible.
“If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting because they’re not equipped to have it.”
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he thought the USPS could handle the influx of mail associated with universal vote-by-mail while speaking to the Postal Service’s governing board last week, as reported by the AP.
“Although there will likely be an unprecedented increase in election mail volume due to the pandemic, the Postal Service has ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on-time in accordance with our delivery standards, and we will do so,” DeJoy said, per the same report.
Trump has been steadfast in his opposition to universal mail-in voting, tweeting in June that mail-in voting would cause a tremendous scandal.
RIGGED 2020 ELECTION: MILLIONS OF MAIL-IN BALLOTS WILL BE PRINTED BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES, AND OTHERS. IT WILL BE THE SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2020
While experts such as David Becker, executive director at Center for Election Innovation and Research says claims of voter-fraud are “unsubstantiated” with “zero evidence to support it” and CNN has said “Trump lies about voter fraud,” there have been issues in recent weeks of voter fraud. (RELATED: Nearly 50% Of Americans Believe Mail-In Voting Is Vulnerable To Significant Levels Of Fraud: Poll)
According to CNN, four men in Paterson, New Jersey were charged with “criminal conduct involving mail-in ballots during the election,” after elections in New Jersey were conducted by mail-in ballots due to the pandemic.
The investigation into the men began after the United States Postal Inspection Service found hundreds of mail-in ballots in a Paterson mailbox, with additional ballots found in another mailbox in a nearby town, per the same report. Paterson City Councilman Michael Jackson is one of the men charged and allegedly violated state election laws by approaching voters where he was running and personally collecting their ballots. Jackson also allegedly had more than three ballots which were not his.
Another one of the men charged allegedly submitted more than one voter registration application that he knew were “false, fictitious or fraudulent,” according to CNN.
Another concern with mail-in ballots is administrative issues already seen in a number of local elections scaled to nationwide proportions. It took more than a month to declare the winner of New York’s 12th Congressional District primary due to major delays in counting nearly a half-million mail-in ballots, per the New York Times.
Election lawyers said the Postal Service had issues processing some of the mail-in ballots correctly due to prepaid return envelopes and as a result, some of ballots — perhaps thousands — were wrongly disqualified, per the same report. Other ballots were reportedly either discarded by city officials for small errors or sent to voters too late. The Times reported that there appeared to be no criminal malfeasance.
The New York Post also reported that more than 80,000 mail-in ballots were disqualified from a June presidential primary race because of postage or other problems. A federal judge ruled that thousands of voters were disenfranchised because of the procession of the ballots.