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Politics Trump campaign laying groundwork to shape mail-in voting to their advantage

18:15  01 august  2020
18:15  01 august  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Trump notes GOP governor when asked why he backs mail-in voting in Florida

  Trump notes GOP governor when asked why he backs mail-in voting in Florida President Trump on Tuesday elaborated on his sudden support for mail-in voting in the state of Florida by noting the state is run by a Republican governor.The president earlier in the day offered a qualifier to his weeks of sustained attacks on mail-in voting by encouraging residents in Florida to take advantage of absentee and mail ballots. The state is both Trump's official place of residence and a must-win state in his reelection bid.AskedThe president earlier in the day offered a qualifier to his weeks of sustained attacks on mail-in voting by encouraging residents in Florida to take advantage of absentee and mail ballots. The state is both Trump's official place of residence and a must-win state in his reelection bid.

Laying groundwork for foreign disinformation. " Mail - in voting has already become an issue among partisan political voices, which makes it a target for threat actors to exploit," the assessment read. The Trump and Biden campaigns also declined to comment on his briefings to them.

The US president cites concern over mail - in voting , despite little evidence of widespread fraud. In June, New York allowed voters to vote by post in the Democratic primary poll for the party's Critics warn that he could be laying the groundwork for contesting the results - although the purpose may

Behind President Donald Trump's rhetoric railing against the expansion of vote-by-mail efforts ahead of the fall, his team is fighting to preserve the aspects of mail-in voting that they hope will offer Trump a strategic advantage.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump are posing for a picture © Provided by CNN

That has included a push in various states for policies such as enhanced signature matching, requirements for people to file an application before they receive a ballot and limits to when and where mail-in ballots will be counted -- things election experts have said could lead to fewer votes being counted from groups that skew Democratic.

Trump sows confusion with tweet urging 'vote by mail' in Florida

  Trump sows confusion with tweet urging 'vote by mail' in Florida Trump sows confusion with tweet urging 'vote by mail' in FloridaWASHINGTON (Reuters) - After weeks of railing against what he claimed were the potential risks of voting by mail, President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged voters in at least one Republican state - Florida - to vote by any means.

Allies are left to shrug their shoulders and brush off his remarks. Some regularly claim to have not He tweeted that “Universal Mail - In Voting ” — something that has not been proposed — would lead Trump expanded his election attacks later in the day, saying he didn’t want to move forward with the

Allies are left to shrug their shoulders and brush off his remarks. “The hopeful scenario is that Trump is just laying the groundwork for a ‘sore loser’ campaign afterward where he won’t The day after Trump floated a delay in the U.S. election, Hong Kong’s government announced that it would

Meanwhile, the President has begun laying the groundwork for the doubt and suspicion he could cast on election results if counting mail-in ballots ultimately delays the declaration of a winner.

"I want to have the election. But I also don't want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn't mean anything. That's what's going to happen," Trump said Thursday at a news conference, during which he also called vote-by-mail a "disaster" and argued people should have to cast their votes in person.

"Mail-in ballots will lead to the greatest fraud," he said, without evidence.

Trump floats delaying election despite lack of authority to do so

  Trump floats delaying election despite lack of authority to do so President Donald Trump explicitly floated delaying November's presidential election on Thursday, lending extraordinary voice to persistent concerns that he would seek to circumvent voting in a contest where he currently trails his opponent by double digits. © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/AFP via Getty Images Trump has no authority to delay an election, and the Constitution gives Congress the power to set the date for voting. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Allies are left to shrug their shoulders and brush off his remarks. Some regularly claim to have not 3 election — a suggestion more in line with autocrats who try to quash the public’s ability to vote than with “The hopeful scenario is that Trump is just laying the groundwork for a ‘sore loser’ campaign

In a similar vein, while a slight majority of Mr. Biden’s backers said mail ballots would be their Forty-one states already allow all voters to vote by mail , and seven of those send ballots to voters “His broad campaign to discredit the legitimacy of American elections, to say they’re rigged, to say that

But some administration officials and Republican allies have expressed frustration at Trump's rhetoric behind closed doors -- acknowledging that mail-in voting will likely be necessary and perhaps even helpful for the President in some places.

"It's not smart," one senior administration official said of Trump's comments, noting the likelihood that the pandemic will make voting in-person, at least in some areas, impossible. "When we are eventually forced to have mail-in ballots, it's our people who won't vote because they don't trust the system."

In a recent CNN poll surveying voters in Arizona, Florida and Michigan, Biden supporters overwhelmingly said they would rather vote by mail than in person In Arizona, 78% of Biden backers say they would rather vote by mail, compared with 43% of Trump supporters. In Florida, 59% of Biden supporters would rather cast mail ballots vs. 19% of Trump supporters. And in Michigan, 67% of Biden supporters say they'd rather vote by mail vs. 22% of Trump backers.

MSNBC's Barnicle: Trump election rhetoric means when might need 'landslide for Joe Biden'

  MSNBC's Barnicle: Trump election rhetoric means when might need 'landslide for Joe Biden' MSNBC columnist Mike Barnicle on Monday said the nation has "pray there's going to be a landslide for Joe Biden" over President Trump in November, alleging that "Republicans are good at fixing the way we count ballots in the country."Barnicle's comments come after Trump suggested last week the possibility of delaying the 2020 presidential election, citing "dangerous universal mail-in-voting."Trump later said he only floated the idea "to getBarnicle's comments come after Trump suggested last week the possibility of delaying the 2020 presidential election, citing "dangerous universal mail-in-voting.

Mail - In Voting is already proving to be a catastrophic disaster. Even testing areas are way off. 1,357 Democratic delegates are at stake as voters cast their ballots in 14 states and American Samoa on President Donald Trump 's apocalyptic views of voting by mail are baseless, according to research

President Trump on Wednesday posted a video report from a local media outlet demonstrating what can go wrong with mail - in voting . Counting up the letters, the reporter discovers after four days 21 percent of votes still hadn’t made it to their destination. “And the batch we’d mailed a week prior

Arizona and Michigan are two key states that Republican National Committee and Trump campaign officials have expressed concern over holding in November. And the worry over Trump's fight against mail-in voting extends beyond the presidential election; multiple Republican sources stressed how this could negatively affect down-ballot GOP candidates as well.

Fighting to shape the system

Trump's campaign and the RNC have set aside $20 million for waging election-related battles, which have ranged from challenging individual states' laws directly to battling Democratic groups that have themselves sued to open up voting options, according to a source familiar with the campaign's election efforts. The Trump campaign pointed to Democrats, who they say have intervened in 18 states over mail-in voting laws, and argued they have simply stepped into those legal battles to defend "election integrity."

Their effort has spanned at least 17 states and has focused primarily on preserving restrictions to mail-in ballots that they say protect against fraud, but that Democrats say ensure some voters will not get their ballots counted.

Trump: Election results could be delayed by months

  Trump: Election results could be delayed by months President Trump continued to stoke fears about voting by mail in a new interview with "Axios on HBO" released Tuesday, claiming it could take months for the November election to be decided.Trump reiterated his claims that mail-in voting leads to fraud and said that it will be "massively bigger" this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic."Now because of the China virus, we're supposed to stay home, send millions of ballots all over the country. Millions and millions," Trump said. "You know, you could have a case where this election won't be decided on the evening of Nov. 3. This election could be decided two months later.

US states want to make mail - in voting easier because of public health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The spokesman for Mr Trump 's re-election campaign , Hogan Gidley, said Mr Trump had just In June, New York allowed voters to vote by post in the Democratic primary poll for the party's

G. In 1887, two other cotton industrialists from Lancashire, Clement and Harry Charnock, moved to work at a cotton factory in Orekhovo-Zuevo, near Moscow. to better distribute their body heat and stay cool. even though the desert environment is very dry and hot. that help them to live in the desert.

The source acknowledged some rule changes would likely offer an advantage to Trump's rival, Joe Biden -- specifically, the loosening of signature matching requirements and "ballot harvesting," or the practice of allowing individuals, including political operatives, to collect large numbers of ballots and turn them in en masse.

The Trump campaign and the RNC have fought to retain tight signature matching rules, which require that the signature on a ballot match the a person's signature on the voter registration rolls. An anti-fraud measure, some Democrats and voter advocacy groups argue it results in too many ballots being discarded.

Despite Trump's rhetoric suggesting all mail-in voting will expose the country to the prospect of a fraudulent election result, the Trump campaign and Republican allies have been careful to specify that they do not oppose the overall concept of vote-by-mail policies. Instead, they have sought to draw a distinction between absentee voting and the expanded mail-in voting some states have proposed as a safer alternative to casting ballots at the polls during the pandemic.

But the voting methods are very similar, and experts have told CNN they are largely "the same thing."

Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign spokesman, cited examples of delays and issues with expanded mail-in voting in New York and New Jersey to argue the practice is too risky to roll out widely in November.

Trump, in 'Fox & Friends' interview, warns it could take years to get election results with mass-mailed ballots

  Trump, in 'Fox & Friends' interview, warns it could take years to get election results with mass-mailed ballots President Trump warned that if states like Nevada are allowed to send mail-in ballots to all registered voters, it could take "years" to get the results from November's election.In a wide-ranging interview with "Fox & Friends," Trump claimed that the infrastructure is not there for such a large-scale operation.

"It is now the stated goal of Democrats to eliminate protections for election integrity, such as universally mailing a ballot to every registered voter, whether they asked for one or not," Murtaugh said in a statement to CNN. "They also want to eliminate signature matching and clear the way for ballot harvesting, which are also wide open opportunities for fraud."

The campaign is not working to ban mail-in voting outright, but often fighting to shape the system in which it will occur.

In Pennsylvania -- a state that campaign officials are banking on winning, but believe will be very close -- the Trump campaign has sued the election boards of 67 counties over ways mail-in voting was conducted ahead of the June primary there, and it has demanded certain changes ahead of November, such as ending the practice of allowing voters to drop their ballots off at certified, unmonitored drop boxes in addition to traditional polling locations.

The campaign also asked Pennsylvania to stop election officials "from counting absentee and mail-in ballots that lack a secrecy envelope or contain on that envelope any text, mark or symbol which reveals the elector's identity, political affiliation, or candidate preference," according to court documents filed on June 29.

The lawsuit argued that the use of unmonitored drop-boxes created the opportunity for fraud and disenfranchisement because different counties advertised to voters the existence of their locations differently, and because it prevented political parties from having as much insight into the process. Proponents of the practice argue the boxes simply create more convenient locations for voters and reduce the burden on the Postal Service.

Trump says voting by mail in Florida is 'safe and secure, tried and true' after months of falsely claiming that mail voting is fraudulent

  Trump says voting by mail in Florida is 'safe and secure, tried and true' after months of falsely claiming that mail voting is fraudulent Trump's tweet encouraging Florida voters to cast ballots by mail is a massive reversal of the last several monthsTrump, who has previously falsely claimed that high levels of mail voting would not be "anything less than substantially fraudulent" and suggested the election should be delayed until in-person voting is fully safe, tweeted on Tuesday that Florida's voting system is "safe and secure, tried and true.

Pennsylvania used expanded mail-in voting practices in its June primary, and like other states that did the same this year, struggled to navigate the results. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, extended the deadline for receiving and counting ballots in six large counties ahead of Election Day.

But an analysis by the Philadelphia Inquirer found that Pennsylvania voters who waited until three weeks or less before Election Day to apply for their ballots were less likely to get their ballot in than those who applied earlier; the analysis concluded 92,000 fewer votes were cast due to delays in processing applications, printing ballots and delivering mail.

That many votes could well be decisive in a state as crucial to the 2020 race as Pennsylvania; Trump won it in 2016 by less than 45,000 votes.

A Democratic official who requested anonymity said Democratic groups are fighting in some states to allow ballots postmarked by Election Day to be counted, even if they arrive days after.

Republicans have claimed ballots should be received by Election Day to register -- a policy, the Democratic official said, that disproportionately affects young people and people of color. Those are the groups that tend to send their votes in later, when mail delays and backlogs could prevent them from reaching election offices in time.

On a website detailing their joint efforts, the RNC and Trump campaign notes: "Receiving ballots after election day allows losing candidates to 'go find' enough late votes to change the outcome. Moreover, any system that allows late-arriving ballots is ripe for weeks of prolonged litigation, which undermines the confidence and legitimacy of the election."

Trump's team has also expressed concern about the shortened timeline mail-in voting could create. A source close to the campaign argued that if mail-in voting is expanded, "people would be voting without being an informed voter," because in some places they could request and submit their ballot weeks before Election Day.

Watch live: Trump holds news conference at White House

  Watch live: Trump holds news conference at White House The president has offered conflicting messages on voting by mail. ","contentRating":"MPAA PG-13","videoQuality":"720p","publication":{"@type":"BroadcastEvent","isLiveBroadcast":true,"startDate":"2020-08-05T21:30:00.000Z","endDate":"2020-08-05T23:00:00.000Z"},"uploadDate":"2020-08-05T21:30:00.000Z","contentUrl":"https://dai.google.com/linear/hls/event/Sid4xiTQTkCT1SLu6rjUSQ/master.

With the margins between the President and Biden razor-thin in a number of key states, the campaign is concerned that "people without full knowledge of what could come out in the election" would start to seal Trump's fate before he had a chance to compete fully.

But one thing aides rarely cite as a potential problem with mail-in voting is foreign interference, although Trump has tried repeatedly to raise the specter of election meddling associated with vote-by-mail policies.

"This is going to be the greatest election disaster in history. And by the way, you guys like to talk about Russia and China and other places, they'll be able to forge ballots, they'll forge up, they'll do whatever they have to do," Trump said on Friday.

There is no evidence foreign governments would have any means of printing ballots, which have to be individually requested in most states and checked against voter registration files.

Creating a funding crunch

The campaign's state-by-state legal slog has dovetailed with an effort by the White House to limit funding for vote-by-mail measures.

House Democrats included $3.6 billion for election-related activities -- including the potential expansion of mail-in voting -- in the stimulus proposal they passed in May. The money would have been aimed at helping states shape their elections ahead of November so voters can safely cast their ballots amid the pandemic.

But the White House and Senate Republicans negotiated a proposal, unveiled this week, that included zero dollars for the election. A White House official said funding for mail-in voting is currently a sticking point in negotiations that are already hitting larger snags over unemployment insurance and liability protections for employers who ask their workers to return to the job site with the virus not yet under control.

In the stimulus package Trump signed in March, Republicans and Democrats agreed to offer $400 million in federal grants for states to spend on changes needed to hold safe elections this November.

Democrats, however, wanted far more; their earlier proposal had requested $4 billion in such grants.

Many state officials have said they will need more funding to do things like train the number of people required to count the expected influx of mail-in ballots quickly and to make in-person polling places safe as well.

The delays and increased financial strain that have plagued the US Postal Service throughout the pandemic could also lend to the problems that may arise from expanded mail-in voting.

USPS has recently implemented new policies that workers blame for delivery delays of at least two days across the country -- prompting fears that many ballots may not reach election offices in time if the problems aren't corrected by November.


Video: Trump questions whether US should 'delay the election' (CNN)

Watch live: Trump holds news conference at White House .
The president has offered conflicting messages on voting by mail. ","contentRating":"MPAA PG-13","videoQuality":"720p","publication":{"@type":"BroadcastEvent","isLiveBroadcast":true,"startDate":"2020-08-05T21:30:00.000Z","endDate":"2020-08-05T23:00:00.000Z"},"uploadDate":"2020-08-05T21:30:00.000Z","contentUrl":"https://dai.google.com/linear/hls/event/Sid4xiTQTkCT1SLu6rjUSQ/master.

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