President Donald Trump caused a bipartisan stir this week with a tweet regarding the perceived integrity of the upcoming elections.
In his post on Thursday morning, he reiterated prior concerns about voter fraud if mail-in ballots are the norm, going on to float the idea of delaying Election Day until security issues could be adequately addressed.
“A great embarrassment to the USA”
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” the president tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
While a number of elected officials from both parties almost immediately denounced any such plan, the Trump campaign soon released a statement clarifying Trump’s true message.
Trump 2020 national press secretary Hogan Gidley said that the president was “just raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting.”
In a follow-up tweet, Trump revealed one of his motivations for his earlier controversial statement.
“Glad I was able to get the very dishonest LameStream Media to finally start talking about the RISKS to our Democracy from dangerous Universal Mail-In-Voting (not Absentee Voting, which I totally support!),” he wrote.
“You never even know who won”
A short time later, he added in a separate tweet that Americans must “know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!”
His mention of a delayed election took precedence during a White House press briefing on Thursday, giving the president another opportunity to elaborate on his misgivings about the reliability of an election decided by mail-in votes.
“And I don’t want to see an election — you know, so many years, I’ve been watching elections. And they say the ‘projected winner’ or the ‘winner of the election’ — I don’t want to see that take place in a week after November 3rd or a month or, frankly, with litigation and everything else that can happen, years,” he said. “Years. Or you never even know who won the election.”
While a number of Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, dismissed any such notion, Trump also made it clear that he does not “want a delay,” but also does not “want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn’t mean anything.”
Although he will certainly continue to face criticism for his rhetoric on this issue, plenty of American voters are just as concerned about the security and reliability of November’s election.