Is Obama right in saying Trump "is explicit in trying to discourage people from voting"?


Fact Box

  • On July 30, Trump tweeted that universal mail-in voting would make the 2020 election the most “inaccurate and fraudulent” in history. 
  • President Barack Obama slammed President Donald Trump “accusing his administration of undermining the U.S. Postal Service and attempting to suppress votes during the coronavirus pandemic.”
  • Trump has ranted for months, stating mail-in ballots to be a possible source of fraud. Millions of Americans have cast absentee ballots for years without issue.
  • In the 2016 US presidential election, nearly one quarter of votes were cast by post; that number is expected to rise for the 2020 election.

Noah (No)

Former President Obama was completely incorrect in accusing President Trump of trying to discourage people from voting—just the opposite is true. President Trump knows full well about the deep flaws, inaccuracies, and illegal activities currently going on with voting across America. Putting all ballots now in the hands of the U.S. Postal Service is not a path to cleaning up the defects in our voting system. And not requiring a legitimate ID to be used in voting is an invitation for more ballot stuffing and further cheating at the polls.

An important recent NPR analysis has found that in the primary elections held so far in 2020, at least 65,000 absentee or mail-in ballots were 'rejected because they arrived past the deadline, often through no fault of the voter.' In Virginia alone, almost 6% of all mail-in ballots were disqualified in that state's most recent primary. In close elections, which we see happening more and more in many national races, the difference between a win or a loss could come down to the number of rejected mail-in ballots. It's that important. And the Post Office has publicly announced it is not set-up for the task of handling and guaranteeing ballot integrity on such a massive scale.

Tasking political operatives to collect massive numbers of mail-in ballots from individual voters, in what is called 'ballot harvesting,' is rife with potential corruption. President Trump is just asking for a return to in-person voting and for the use of ID's to guarantee voter integrity should be no-brainers for people in high places, even former Presidents, who personally should know better.

Tyler (Yes)

Former President Barack Obama was not misinformed when he asserted that President Trump was 'explicit' in his reasoning to oppose mail-in voting. Trump is discouraging mail-in voting because only 13% of Republicans are expected to vote by mail, as opposed to 64% of Democrats who plan to exercise their right to vote by mail. Trump's stout disapproval of relying on USPS for election results derives from a fear of losing his spot in office. Trump explained that by focusing on mail-in voting, saying, 'our country will never have a Republican president again.' By acknowledging that his party's future is in jeopardy, Trump is 'explicitly' laying out his plan to alter the election in his favor.

Trump expressed his displeasure with the Democrats idea of granting the USPS a 3.5 billion dollar 'election package.' However, he acknowledged that additional funding would best prepare our country for mail-in voting if we did decide to go down that path. Trump explained, 'If we don't make a deal, that means they don't get the money and can't have universal mail-in voting.' He is fully aware of the power that he holds and his ability to influence the election. Trump later stated that 'they want three and a half-billion dollars for something that'll turn out to be fraudulent. ' A 2017 study from the Brennan Center of Justice reported that in previous elections, voter fraud rates had not exceeded 0.00009%. After declaring his original purpose in handicapping the USPS, Trump's scheme to alter the election is as transparent as can be.

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