President Trump escalated his criticism of voting by mail, threatening to withhold federal funding from Michigan after the state introduced plans to ship purposes for absentee ballots to all registered voters forward of main and normal elections as a result of coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly complained about voting by mail, tweeted Wednesday: “This was carried out illegally and with out authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I’ll ask to carry up funding to Michigan in the event that they need to go down this Voter Fraud path!” He additionally inaccurately stated the state was sending out absentee ballots, fairly than purposes.
The president didn’t present additional particulars on the funding he was referring to and the White Home didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. His declaration got here a day forward of his deliberate go to to the state Thursday and amid repeated clashes with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over how greatest to reply to the coronavirus.
Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, stated Tuesday absentee-ballot purposes would go to all of the state’s 7.7 million registered voters forward of its August main and November normal elections.
“By mailing purposes, we have now ensured that no Michigander has to decide on between their well being and their proper to vote.” Ms. Benson stated in a press release.
Hi! 👋🏼 I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia. https://t.co/kBsu4nHvOy
— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) May 20, 2020
All Michigan voters have the proper to vote by mail and might request an absentee poll with out offering a cause. The Secretary of State stated that of the 7.7 million registered voters, 1.three million are on the everlasting absentee listing and get an utility from their native clerk forward of each election, and a few jurisdictions are mailing purposes to all native registered voters.
“The Michigan Division of State’s Bureau of Elections has ensured all remaining registered voters obtain an utility,” Ms. Benson stated.
Mr. Trump has beforehand claimed voting by mail permits for fraud. Whereas researchers have discovered uncommon situations of absentee-voter fraud, research present it isn’t widespread.
Ms. Benson responded to Mr. Trump’s tweet on Twitter, noting that he inaccurately stated the state was sending out ballots versus poll purposes and that Georgia, Iowa, and West Virginia—which have Republican secretaries of state—all not too long ago selected to robotically ship such purposes to voters.
Mr. Trump narrowly captured Michigan by slightly below 11,000 votes in 2016. It was one in every of various rust-belt states that helped ship him the White Home, however is considered as a troublesome state for him to carry in 2020.