On Thursday, Aug. 13, President Trump stated he was holding up emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service so they couldn’t process a lot of mail-in ballots. With no evidence, he said mail-in ballots would make the 2020 election the biggest fraud in American history.
“Now, if we don't make a deal, that means they don't get the money,” he said in published reports. “That means they can't have universal mail-in voting. They just can't have it.”
Many states have pushed for more mail-in ballots as a safer way to vote during the coronavirus pandemic.
The man Trump pushed to be named Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, has initiated policies, like banning overtime for letter carriers and banning additional trips to make sure mail gets delivered on time, that some observers say are slowing down the process of mail service. Over 600 mail sorting machines have been decommissioned as well.
DeJoy took over at USPS at a time when they were facing a financial crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some say he’s trying to save them money. Others say this is a deliberate attempt at undermining mail-in ballots by making timely processing of mail-in ballots impossible.
It’s worth noting the President himself votes by mail.
The problem is it’s more than just mail-in ballots that will be delayed. There are many people who rely on the Postal Service for vital items like paychecks and prescription medications.
“His own postmaster general has come out with a series of proposals that would delay the mail," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York said Aug. 15, according to NBC News. “These changes won't just disenfranchise voters. It will hurt our seniors, our veterans, others that depend on their medications by mail, their packages, other deliveries. And these delays are also happening across our country.”
Maloney is the Chair of the House Oversight Committee.
Some would argue the President is only trying to protect the integrity of the electoral process by making it difficult, if not impossible, for states to conduct elections by mail. Others would argue he is trying to disenfranchise people who might vote against him.
The President seems obsessed with the notion that massive vote fraud is taking place in this country, despite all the evidence to the contrary. You may recall how he claimed the 2016 election was “rigged” for Hillary Clinton. Even after he won the election (they didn’t rig it very well, did they?), he kept pushing for investigations of alleged vote fraud.
It was as if he wasn’t satisfied with simply winning the election. He wanted to prove he really won in a massive landslide, but the Democrats cheated, so he only won the Electoral College but not the popular vote.
Did you notice something else? He claims it’s the Democrats who will cheat with mail-in ballots. That has become part of the Trump message: Democrats cheat. They always cheat. The only reason they win elections is because they cheat.
The fact is, despite the President’s claims, there is little or no evidence mail-in ballots lead to vote fraud. They have been embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike all across the nation. All sorts of safeguards have been put in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process. In some cases, it was Republicans who pushed for mail-in ballots because they knew it would help them.
If the President is trying to undermine the whole idea of mail-in ballots by withholding funds from the Postal Service, all he’s really doing is hurting people who rely on the Postal Service for their needs.
Even those who agree with the President about mail-in voting may find his latest actions hard to accept, particularly if they slow down delivery of needed mail packages. In the end, the person he may end up hurting most is himself.