Donald Trump is suing Nevada over its decision to conduct November’s election via mail, claiming Wednesday that the state does not have any signature verification to confirm the ballot isn’t fraudulent even as the law outlines such a process.
‘Don’t forget, if you look at what they’re doing in Nevada. No signature, if you take a look at the signature, and there’s no verification of signature allowed,’ the president said while speaking to reporters in the Oval Office following a meeting with Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.
‘So they don’t even know who’s going to sign this,’ Trump continued. ‘They have, literally, a clause that you don’t have to verify the signature – that they don’t have to do it.’
The Nevada legislation eased the signature verification process but did not completely eliminate it, revising the existing procedures and establishing ‘standards for determining when there is a reasonable question of fact as to whether the signature used for an absent ballot, mailing ballot or mail ballot matches the signature of the voter.’
Later, during a press conference, a reporter pointed out to the president that the Nevada secretary of state’s office, held by a Republican who oversees the state’s election, said there would be a signature verification process and it would be done on the county level.
Trump shrugged that off.
‘That’s not what they said when they approved it,’ he said of the law that was passed this weekend. ‘They said they aren’t going to check signatures, they aren’t going to be able to end their machinery which is old doesn’t allow them to. It’s going to be physically impossible for them to do that especially in a short period of time.’
During an interview with Fox & Friends earlier in the day, Trump also shrugged off concerns in assuring that voting in-person on Election Day will be ‘very safe.’
‘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 claimed the Nevada law doesn’t have a signature verification process for its mail-in ballots but – while the law eased the process, it did not eliminate it
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
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.
He told reporters at the White House that the country is ‘never going to know who won the election’ if mail-in ballots are widely used.
‘You’ll never know who the winner is,’ Trump said, adding: ‘But the winner’s going to be me.’
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 Wednesday morning.
During remarks later in the day he said, ‘We’ll see what the court has to say about it.’
‘Even if Nevada wanted to do it well, they wouldn’t have enough time,’ he insisted. ‘I’m sure the Post Office doesn’t have enough time.’
‘Millions of ballots all of the sudden coming out of nowhere,’ the president continued. ‘You know, voting starts in a very short period of time.’
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
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
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
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.