WASHINGTON - President Trump on Wednesday said if people can “protest in person,” they can “vote in person” in November, amid the battle over mail-in ballots.
“IF YOU CAN PROTEST IN PERSON, YOU CAN VOTE IN PERSON!” Trump tweeted.
The president’s tweet comes amid a battle with Democrats over mail-in ballots. Democrats have claimed that voting by mail is the only safe way to cast ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The president’s tweet was seemingly referring to the widespread racial justice protests across the nation, which began in late May, after the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd in police custody.
But Republicans, for months, have been warning about possible fraud connected to mail-in voting. The Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign have filed lawsuit to hit back against efforts by Democrats to overhaul voting laws in response to the pandemic; this, while Democrats say that cases of actual voter fraud are limited and claim that Republicans are trying to suppress voter turnout to improve their chances of winning in November.
The president has repeatedly slammed voting by mail, saying ballots have been “sent to dogs” and to “dead people,” citing states like Virginia, where he said more than “500,000 phony ballot applications were sent to voters,” and in New York, where mail-in voting caused a weeks-long delay in announcing results for some races in the state’s primary.
But Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign said casting ballots by mail is the “most secure form of voting” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said there is “no reason” Americans can’t vote in person for the 2020 presidential election, so long as voters follow proper social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that cannot be the case,” Fauci told ABC News this week. “If you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing, and don’t have a crowded situation, there’s no reason why [people] shouldn’t be able to do that.”
Fauci added that individuals who are “compromised physically or otherwise” and who are not interested in physically going to the polls on Election Day, can use mail-in voting.
But Fauci doubled down, saying, “there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote in person or otherwise.”