Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on Tuesday morning said that he believes the country’s expanded mail-in ballots process will “prove to work out just fine.”
“I have a lot of confidence in our electoral process,” Scott told TODAY Show anchor Savannah Guthrie hours after he headlined the opening night of the Republican Party’s convention on Monday. “I’m very confident that we will have fair elections throughout this country.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 25, 2020
The comments follow a months-long effort by President Donald Trump to undermine the voting process by falsely suggesting that mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic will lead to widespread fraud.
“I’m going to have confidence that all of the moving pieces will actually fit together and we’ll have a very strong integrity-driven, character-driven election,” Scott said.
But in spite of Scott’s remarks on the matter, the President has dialed up his attacks on voting.
“The only way we’re going to lose this election is if this election is rigged,” Trump said last week during a counter-programming event in battleground Wisconsin to contrast the Democrats’ convention last week.
Those remarks served as conspiratorial fodder to the President’s arsenal against mail-in voting and were used almost word-for-word again by Trump at the RNC on Monday.
“They’re using Covid to defraud the American people,” Trump said in North Carolina.
“The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election,” he said. “We’re going to win.”
While Scott would not directly address the President’s unfounded claims against voting by mail, he said that he believes he echoes the sentiments of “what most Americans believe” when he says that “this process of mail-in ballots will prove to work out just fine.”
“I think every single American should have the right to vote,” Scott said.
The Republican lawmaker’s comments, while appearing to challenge claims about the legitimacy of voting by mail, stopped miles short of the battlecry made by prominent Democrats at the DNC last week. Former first lady Michelle Obama — Scott’s Democratic first-night keynote counterpart — opened the Democratic convention last week railing against the assault on mail-in voting by President Trump, urging voters to cast ballots early as a way to push back on clear attempts at voter suppression.
“Right now, folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting,” the former first lady said. Obama added that Americans should request mail-in ballots “right now, tonight,” and send them back “immediately.”
Scott’s lack of urgency and unwillingness to directly challenge the President about mail-in voting seems to show that even among Republicans who have championed the integrity of mailed ballots, few if any are willing to step up to challenge efforts at suppressing the mail-in vote.