Mail-in voting will be the “end of of great Republican Party,” President Trump tweeted late Thursday night, continuing his baseless assault on voting by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic.
MAIL-IN VOTING WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE FRAUD AND ABUSE. IT WILL ALSO LEAD TO THE END OF OUR GREAT REPUBLICAN PARTY. WE CAN NEVER LET THIS TRAGEDY BEFALL OUR NATION. BIG MAIL-IN VICTORY IN TEXAS COURT TODAY. CONGRATS!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
The tweet comes after a frantic letter to supporters on Wednesday night warning that mail-in voting, which has become a safer alternative to in-person voting in the age of the coronavirus, would lead to “robbed” mailboxes, “illegally printed” ballots and a “rigged” election. Shortly before signing an executive order aimed at bullying social media companies, Trump suggested children could be involved in “ballot harvesting” by stealing ballots from mailboxes.
Democratic election lawyer Marc Elias summed up the President’s tweet succinctly:
Shorter: When people can vote, Republicans lose. https://t.co/iPtApkCCSX
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) May 29, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has notably recommended mail-in voting as a key step to shrink crowds at polling stations and increase the chances for social distancing rules to be carried out on Election Day.
The trend of voting by mail isn’t new. Five states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington — already conduct most of their voting by mail. Twenty-eight other states, as well as the District of Columbia, allow for absentee voting without requiring a reason for doing so. In several of these states, significant rates of voters already routinely cast their ballot remotely, which would make the leap to majority mail-in voting fairly small.
But pleading to rescue the Republican Party from collapse while applauding states that are strictly challenging mail-in voting in courts indicates just how anxiously the president is approaching the election battle this year.