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Donald Trump says ‘it’s going to very safe’ to vote in person in November

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President Donald Trump has sued Nevada over its decision to conduct November’s election via mail-in voting and argued things are going to be ‘very safe’ by Election Day for people to vote in-person.

The president shrugged off concerns people – particularly the elderly – have about going to polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘We have people that really want to get out and vote. It’s going to be very safe. But by November 3rd, time wise, that’s eternity, frankly, as far as I’m concerned. For Trump, that’s eternity. And, November 3rd is a long ways off, a lot of things are going to happen,’ he said Wednesday morning during an interview on ‘Fox & Friends.’

President Donald Trump has sued Nevada over its decision to conduct November's election via mail-in voting and argued things are going to be 'very safe' by Election Day for people to vote in-person

President Donald Trump has sued Nevada over its decision to conduct November’s election via mail-in voting and argued things are going to be ‘very safe’ by Election Day for people to vote in-person

A voter drops off his absentee ballot in Michigan's primary election on Tuesday - more states are expanding their mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic

A voter drops off his absentee ballot in Michigan’s primary election on Tuesday – more states are expanding their mail-in voting options because of the coronavirus pandemic

Trump also argued the coronavirus was going away even as the United States has averaged more than 1,000 deaths for nine consecutive days.

‘This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away,’ the president said of the virus, which has killed more than 159,000 Americans and infected more than 4.85 million.

Trump has railed against Nevada after the state decided to automatically mail ballots to all its registered voters. His campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Nevada Republican Party filed a lawsuit on Tuesday night to stop the move.

The president has falsely claimed mail-in voting leads to voter fraud, which studies show is not the case. But Republicans are concerned mail-in ballots benefit voting blocs that tend to support Democrats. 

The Republican Party has launched lawsuits in several states – including California – that are expanding their mail-in voting options in response to the pandemic. 

Nevada, California and Vermont have opted for universal mail-in voting because of the virus. Five states already conduct elections by mail-in ballots. And many other states have allowed fear of the coronavirus to be used as a reason for requesting an absentee ballot. 

The president has also argued mail-in ballots would take longer to count, meaning there would be no result on election night. 

‘It’s going to be months or years,’ he claimed on ‘Fox & Friends’ of knowing who will be the next president. 

He’s argued some states – like Nevada – don’t have the infrastructure to count mail-in ballots but it’s unclear what he means by that. ‘They will never be able to tabulate their votes because they are not set up for it,’ he said.

Trump, who votes absentee in Florida, argues that is different and said that state has the infrastructure to handle mail-in ballots. 

‘You can’t do a mail-in vote. Florida is different in a sense that they have been doing it and they have had two very good governors, frankly and infrastructure that’s taken years to build. Nevada, they start voting very soon,’ he said.

He made the same argument on Twitter before his early morning interview on Fox. 

‘Nevada has ZERO infrastructure for Mail-In Voting. It will be a corrupt disaster if not ended by the Courts. It will take months, or years, to figure out. Florida has built a great infrastructure, over years, with two great Republican Governors. Florida, send in your Ballots!,’ he wrote.

On Tuesday, Trump came out for vote-by-mail efforts in Florida – a state he made his home after leaving higher-tax New York.

His surprise turnaround came after a series of polls showed him trailing Democrat Joe Biden in the state and amid concerns from some Republicans his criticism of mail-in voting would backfire and keep their supporters from voting in November.

'Florida’s got a great Republican governor,' President Trump said on Tueday, asked why he supported mail-in voting there

‘Florida’s got a great Republican governor,’ President Trump said on Tueday, asked why he supported mail-in voting there

Trump defended his new position in a Tuesday evening news conference where his first justification was that the state has a ‘great Republican governor.’

Trump was referring to Gov. Ron DeSantis, a close ally and friend.

‘Florida’s got a great Republican governor,’ Trump said, singling out DeSantis and predecessor Gov. Rick Scott.  

‘Over a long period of time, they’ve been able to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally,’ he said. ‘Florida’s different from other states.’ 

He added: ‘Florida has been working on this for years and they have a very good system of mail-in.’

Trump lauded Florida’s despite its problem continuing ballots in the disputed 2000 presidential election that led to the landmark Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision, which handed the White House to George W. Bush.

Trump also has vilified the U.S. Postal Service in his argument against mail-in voting, charging it is not prepared to handle the millions of absentee ballots that will come through its system. 

‘The postal service for 40 years has had big problems. And they are not equipped to handle a governor where they say millions of ballots, by the way, will be posted in a couple of weeks. Gear up. You can’t do that. It doesn’t work that way. It’s a very complex process,’ he said on Fox News Wednesday morning.

Some state election officials have expressed similar concerns about the post office but postal workers charge that changes made by the new post master general – a large Republican contributor to Trump who was appointed by the president – have led to delays in the mail system. 

Postmaster general Louis DeJoy, a large contributor to Trump who the president appointed to the position, is meeting with Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill Wednesday amid concerns about the postal system. 

The Postal Service is experiencing days-long backlogs of mail, sparking fears the problem could continue into November and affect the election.

Additionally, an internal report from the postal service warned almost half the states  are not providing adequate time for workers to deliver ballots ahead of the election.

Several states affected are battleground ones that could decide if Trump or Biden is the next president and it’s big cities – which are hot beds of Democratic voters – that will likely be most affected.  

A worker wearing a protective mask places enveloped ballots into a postal service bin at the Runbeck Election Services facility in Phoenix, Arizona, during that state's primary on Tuesday

A worker wearing a protective mask places enveloped ballots into a postal service bin at the Runbeck Election Services facility in Phoenix, Arizona, during that state’s primary on Tuesday

An internal report from the Postal Service warned there are 24 states with deadlines close enough to the election that do provide or at high risk for not giving the post office time to deliver ballots before the election

An internal report from the Postal Service warned there are 24 states with deadlines close enough to the election that do provide or at high risk for not giving the post office time to deliver ballots before the election

Postal workers told The Washington Post the delays are a result of changes DeJoy put into place, leading to allegations of that the election is being undermined by politics.  

President Trump and his Republican allies have attacked the U.S. Post Office, saying the postal system cannot be trusted to deliver mail-in ballots to the various state boards of elections to be counted. The number of mail-in ballots is expected to be unusually high this year because of the coronavirus.

Louis DeJoy is an American businessman and Republican Party fundraiser who was appointed in May 2020 by unanimous selection of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service to serve as the 75th United States Postmaster General

Louis DeJoy is an American businessman and Republican Party fundraiser who was appointed in May 2020 by unanimous selection of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service to serve as the 75th United States Postmaster General

The changes DeJoy implemented include prohibiting overtime pay, shutting down sorting machines early and requiring letter carriers to leave mail to avoid extra trips or late delivery on routes. His supporters say the moves are to cut costs and help the debt-ridden service make its way to the black.

But postal workers told the newspaper that the changes have resulted in at least a two-day delay in parts of the country along with bins and bins of unsorted, undelivered mail piling up in post offices.

Additionally, many states use a postmark to determine whether or not a ballot meets the deadline to be counted and the delays in processing could affect them, meaning a ballot that was mailed in time still may not have the election day post mark that many states require in order for it to be counted.

An internal report from the Postal Service warned there are 24 states with deadlines close enough to the election that do not provide or at high risk for not giving the post office time to deliver ballots before the election.

The states include the battleground states of New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Ohio.  

‘Ballots requested less than seven days before an election are at a high risk of not being delivered, completed by voters, and returned to the election offices in time,’ the report stated. 

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