Trump’s opposition to mail-in voting baseless

Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has spewed more than his fair share of lies and hate. According to the Washington Post, the president has “made more than 20,000 false or misleading claims,” as of July 13. It should not be a surprise that he has continued this habit of dishonesty and exaggeration into his 2020 presidential campaign.

Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election are nothing more than a political weapon. 

Trump is not shy about his opposition to absentee ballots and voting by mail—even amidst a pandemic—however, his opinions and rhetoric are constantly changing. According to an article on NPR, “In April, Trump said any expansion of mail ballots would lead to widespread fraud.” He later argued that absentee voting was fine, but the Postal Service was not equipped to handle election mail. He later backtracked on this statement again and claimed that the Post Office could handle the ballots, but that election offices could not. 

The president’s ever changing objections to mail in voting are confusing to the American people, and his constant misleading claims only make it worse. Michael Daly, history teacher, said the president’s contradictory messages “are not making it any easier to vote. This could lead to a muddled picture on election night and the possibility that a candidate declares victory white votes are still being tabulated.” 

This initial confusion on election night can lead to votes taking longer to be tallied, the longer this delay is, the more likely the loser can question the validity of the election, and if the loser is the current incumbent, this could lead to issues with a peaceful transfer of power. 

Despite his cries of Democrat-committed voter fraud, Trump has encouraged his own base to commit some form of fraud themselves. At one point, he even encouraged his supporters to vote twice. 

This is, of course, illegal. 

“I think there is a large possibility that many of the President’s supporters will vote early and then go to the polls to see if their early vote was counted,”  Daly said

However, it doesn’t seem to be voting by mail that Trump is so afraid of: it’s losing. On April 8, Trump tweeted that mail in voting “for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” This isn’t the first time Trump has questioned the validity of an election. In 2016, he tweeted, claiming he’d have won the popular vote against Hillary Clinton, “If you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” 

Investigations into this election proved no evidence of voter fraud. Trump thinks that allowing people to vote by mail will cause him to lose the election, therefore he intends to make it as difficult as possible for people to do so

Even Trump’s own panel, before it was disbanded in 2018, was tasked with investigating election corruption and fraud, found no real evidence of any election fraud. The fact is that true voter fraud, in which a voter knowingly casts more than one ballot, a ballot under someone else’s name, or an invalid ballot, is extremely rare. A New York Times article about investigations into voter fraud said, “Fraud by voters casting ballots illegally is a minuscule problem, but a potent political weapon.” 

In an era where our leader is so prone to lying and misleading the American people for his own political gain, it is important that people pay close attention to the facts. Trump has been called out time and time again for making exaggerating and misleading statements, and this election is no different. His own panel found that voter fraud was a miniscule problem, yet he still continues to build it up and draw attention to it on his twitter feed and in the media. 

From encouraging his own base to vote twice to refusing to promise a peaceful transfer of power should he lose, Trump has had a less than honorable presidential campaign. His exaggerated and misleading statements are even more harmful in a time already full of confusion due to the Coronavirus and are only baseless, last-ditch-efforts of an authoritarian afraid to lose his power.