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‘Mailmen promoting ballots. Dumped in rivers. Present in creeks’: Trump makes unfounded claims about mail-in voting – USA TODAY

‘Mailmen promoting ballots. Dumped in rivers. Present in creeks’: Trump makes unfounded claims about mail-in voting – USA TODAY


President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden argue about white supremacy and ANTIFA on the first 2020 presidential debate.


WASHINGTON – Voting rights specialists sounded the alarm over outrageous claims President Donald Trump made about mail-in voting throughout Tuesday evening’s presidential debate and his refusal to say that he would settle for election outcomes.

From claiming  mail carriers in West Virginia are “promoting the ballots” to arguing that mail ballots are being “dumped in rivers” and “creeks,” Trump ramped up his yearlong assault on mail-in voting with deceptive and conspiratorial statements in his first debate in opposition to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“This isn’t going to finish properly,” Trump warned, persevering with his lengthy line of assaults about mail-in voting all through the marketing campaign meant to solid doubt over the legitimacy of the November election.

Election specialists pushed again Wednesday.

“What he mentioned was stuffed with misstatements and inaccuracies,” Lawrence Norden, director of the Election Reform Program for the Brennan Middle for Justice on the New York College of Legislation. “Mail-in ballots are protected and safe. We have been voting in some kind by mail for the reason that Civil Warfare.

“It is harmful to be making these false statements and accusations so near the election.”

Trump would not commit to refraining from prematurely claiming victory earlier than all absentee ballots are counted. He additionally warned he might problem the legitimacy of mail-in ballots to the Supreme Courtroom to settle the election.

“I feel I am relying on them to take a look at the ballots, undoubtedly,” Trump mentioned.

This is a rundown of a few of Trump’s falsehoods and deceptive statements about mail-in voting:

Extra: ‘I hope it’s a fair election’: Trump won’t commit to not declaring election win prematurely

Trump misleads on ‘unsolicited’ mail-in ballots

Trump claimed his objection to mail-in voting is barely with “unsolicited” mail ballots, including that they are “sending hundreds of thousands of ballots all around the nation.”

But within the overwhelming majority of states, together with almost each battleground state, voters merely have the choice to request mail-in ballots. This contains Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona – the six states more than likely to determine the election.

Hundreds of thousands extra persons are anticipated to vote by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic. However solely 9 states and the District of Columbia are holding common mail-in elections – through which ballots are mechanically mailed unsolicited to all registered voters without having to first request one. 

Extra: ‘China ate your lunch, Joe’: Trump, Biden end insult-filled debate filled with interruption

Extra: Donald Trump keeps blasting ‘universal’ mail voting. But few states are planning that in November

5 of these states, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Hawaii, deliberate to carry all-mail elections even earlier than the pandemic and solely a kind of states – Nevada – is taken into account a swing state within the race for president. By far, the state that can account for many of the unsolicited mail-in ballots within the U.S. is California, which Biden is anticipated to win simply.


Who received the presidential debate is within the eye of the beholder as Trump and Biden argue, giving little of substance to voters and each claiming victory.


Ballots dumped in ‘creeks’ and a ‘wastepaper basket’

Decrying mail-in voting, Trump mentioned, “There’s fraud. They discovered them in creeks. They discovered some, simply occurred to have the identify Trump simply the opposite day in a wastepaper basket.”

It seems Trump was referring to 2 separate circumstances from final week – however neither quantities to clear examples of widespread voter fraud.

Fox Information reported three trays of mail that included some absentee ballots had been present in a ditch – which Trump could have been referencing when he mentioned “creek” – in Outagamie County, Wisconsin. The mail was en path to the submit workplace and was returned to the postal inspector when found. Investigators did not say whether or not the ballots had been being despatched to voters or turned in by voters.

Extra: Feds announce inquiry involving 9 mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania as Trump rails about fraud

Trump’s reference to “wastepaper baskets” stems from federal authorities asserting an inquiry into 9 discarded mail-in army ballots recovered from a county elections workplace in northeast Pennsylvania. Seven of the ballots had been solid for Trump.

However the FBI mentioned there was no proof of a “coordinated” voter fraud marketing campaign.

Norden pointed to a number of safety measures in place to make sure that mail-in ballots solid by voters make it to election officers: consultant of each events are assigned to watch absentee ballots; a course of that exists to make sure the variety of voters who despatched again ballots matches the quantity counted; and programs that enable voters to trace their ballots after returning it.

“These form of baseless accusations have no foundation in actuality,” Norden mentioned.


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West Virginia officers right Trump on false declare

Trump singled out West Virginia, saying, “Check out West Virginia, mailmen promoting the ballots. They’re being offered. They’re being dumped in rivers. This can be a horrible factor for our nation.”

The president was referencing a case from July through which a postal provider in Pendleton County, West Virginia, pleaded responsible to mail and election fraud for altering the political affiliation on 5 voter absentee ballots functions – not ballots – from Democrat to Republican through the state’s main.

Extra: West Virginia mail carrier guilty of election fraud after altering ballot requests to Republican

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, a Republican, issued a press release Wednesday to supply “clarification” about Trump’s statements, noting that the case didn’t contain mail ballots.

“Voters ought to be assured that this election might be protected, safe, and honest,” Warner mentioned. “This was a major instance of a devoted clerk, intently watching her election course of, and rapidly reporting an anomaly as she had been skilled to do. The system labored, and we had been in a position to quickly guarantee the voters of West Virginia that the election was safe.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was extra pointed in his remarks.

“It’s plain flawed that President Trump would mislead Individuals to assume mail-in voter fraud is occurring in West Virginia,” Manchin. “There isn’t any widespread voter fraud in West Virginia and any declare on the contrary is fake. “

Trump states falsehoods on why ballots are rejected

At one other level within the debate, Trump mentioned, “I learn right this moment the place at the very least 1% of the ballots for 2016 had been invalidated. They take them. We do not like them. We do not like them. They throw them out left and proper.”

The president was correct in regards to the variety of invalidated ballots. According to a report from the U.S. Assistance Election Commission, 318,728 absentee ballots, round 1%, had been rejected within the 2016 presidential election.

However there isn’t a proof to recommend that election officers discarded ballots as a result of they “do not like them.”

The identical report discovered 27.5% of ballots had been rejected due to non-matching signatures; 23% due to missed deadlines; and 20% due to no signatures, amongst different legitimate causes. Every requirement is supposed to restrict voter fraud.

It was safeguards designed to make sure the authenticity of absentee ballots that led to 1% of them getting rejected in 2016. Rejected mail ballots are often the results of person error by the voter, not fraud.

Trump leaves out key level on prolonged deadlines

Trump bemoaned how some states enable mail-in ballots to be obtained days after the election.

Latest court docket choices in battleground states akin to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin prolonged mail-in ballots deadlines.

Extra: Appeals court allows extension of Wisconsin’s absentee ballot deadlines

“Can you think about the place they are saying, ‘You need to have your poll in by Nov. 10?’ Nov. 10,” Trump mentioned. “That is seven days after the election, in principle, ought to have been introduced.”

However Trump didn’t point out that mail-in ballots in all states should nonetheless be postmarked by Election Day – and, in lots of states, days earlier than Election Day. Nobody might be actively voting after Election Day.

Two ballots do not imply two votes

As he railed on “unsolicited” mail-in ballots, Trump introduced up a latest case through which voters in a “Democrat space” obtained two ballots. It seems he was speaking about Fairfax County, Virginia.

“They despatched two in a Democrat space. They despatched out a thousand ballots. All people received two ballots. That is going to be a fraud such as you’ve by no means seen,” Trump mentioned.

Round 1,000 voters in Fairfax County – and at the very least 1,400 voters general in Virginia – obtained duplicate ballots in latest weeks due to a printing problem, the Washington Post reported. Native officers blamed the excessive quantity of mail-in poll requests for the error.

However Virginia election officers confused that safeguards are in place to make sure that voters will not be capable to vote twice. That features a verification system that may reject the additional poll if a person tried to vote extra than as soon as.

Attain Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.

Learn or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/information/politics/elections/2020/09/30/2020-debate-trump-makes-outrageous-claims-mail-voting/3586836001/

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