President Trump openly admitted that he wants to cut off funding to the United States Postal Service in an effort to limit its ability to process mail-in ballots for the 2020 election.
His admission came during a Fox Business interview on Thursday morning.
Trump's statement was made in reference to the $25 billion in emergency funds for the USPS and a $3.5 billion grant to process election-related mail advocated for by Democrats in a federal COVID-19 relief bill.
"They want $25 billion — billion — for the post office. Now they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots," Trump said.
"Now, in the meantime, they aren't getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don't get those two items, that means you can't have universal mail-in voting ... because they're not equipped," he said.
If Trump is trying to end universal mail-in voting he shouldn't have to worry, it doesn't exist in the U.S. Before the pandemic only five states mailed all registered voters a mail-in ballot.
Trump admits live on Fox News that the US Postal Service needs billions in funding in order to be able to properly… https://t.co/ziYAAW2eoJ— Amee Vanderpool (@Amee Vanderpool)1597344801.0
Trump's admission provides further proof that he's attempting to stifle Americans ability to vote by mail to give himself an advantage in the 2020 presidential election.
In May, he tweeted that mail-in voting in 2020 would "LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY."
MAIL-IN VOTING WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE FRAUD AND ABUSE. IT WILL ALSO LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY. WE… https://t.co/KsiXnhe7Gc— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1590714039.0
In June, he told Politico that the "biggest threat" to his chances at reelection were the lawsuits filed by Republican allies and his campaign to block mail-in voting. "If we don't win those lawsuits, I think — I think it puts the election at risk," he said.
According to Amber McReynolds, the former director of the Denver Elections Division and the CEO of the National Vote At Home Institute, a fully-funded USPS should have no trouble processing mail-in in ballots in November, even if everyone in the country voted by mail.
"They have the ability with their equipment and everything to run it at a level that must of us would never expect — it's massive," McReynolds said.
"The Postal Services estimates they process about 140 billion pieces of mail a year. And when we talk about 250 million mail ballots for, say, every American, that's only about 0.2% of their normal volume," she said.
Democracy is one of the linchpins that holds American society together. There have been a lot of low moments in Trump's presidency, but openly admitting to suppress voter turnout is something that no American — regardless of their politician leanings — should accept.
The strange thing about Trump's attempts to suppress voter turnout is that reducing the number of people who vote by mail doesn't necessarily help him.
A study by The Five Thirty-Eight found that Republicans and Democrats vote roughly in the same numbers by mail and reducing the amount of people who do so won't give a clear advantage to any candidate.
By making it a little easier to vote, voting by mail probably increases the likelihood of the marginal Democratic voter engaging in the process. … But it also makes it easier for more habitual older voters, who tend to vote more Republican than younger voters, to cast a ballot. Thus, on balance, any associated partisan effects from voting by mail have tended to cancel out.
So although we should fight back against any attempt by an elected official to supress voter turnout, Trump's attempts may be another act of cutting off his nose to spite his face.
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