BOSTON (CBS) – President Trump is threatening to hold up federal funding to Michigan after the state announced every registered voter will receive an application for an absentee ballot in the mail.
The president tweeted today: “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue secretary of state,” and he called it “voter fraud,” repeating a characterization he has employed often in the past.
“They want to be able to make sure that Republicans can’t win an election by putting in all sorts of mailing,” he asserted earlier this week.
That claim was flatly refuted last month by a study of the states that already have universal mail-in voting, which found neither party benefits from it.
And after the images last month of Wisconsin voters risking their lives by voting in the peak of the pandemic, the push for voting by mail has intensified here in Massachusetts.
“We have already in place an electronic tracking system that will allow us to track when the ballot is mailed out after the voter has requested, and that it was voted, and when it’s returned,” Secretary of State Bill Galvin tells WBZ-TV.
As Galvin has noted, universal mail-in doesn’t come cheaply. But it has proven to be popular, especially now that the prospect of long waits at crowded polling places is so daunting.
Nonetheless, the inclusion by the House of billions in federal election funding in the recently-passed CARES Act has emerged as a key sticking point for Republicans, with the president taking the lead in disparaging expanded mail-in voting.
“The problem with the mail-in ballots is subject to tremendous corruption,” he insists. “Tremendous corruption, cheating.”
Again, not true. The president himself voted by mail in a recent Florida primary.
And while Beacon Hill sorts through competing proposals for how to do it, Galvin notes there’s a fundamental principle of our democracy at stake.
“It’s important for people to have the right to vote and to protect their right to vote and their health, and we believe by offering people the option of voting by mail, at the same time preserving the option of voting in person, we’re doing the right thing.”