President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to claim a special election in California has been rigged in favor of the Democrats. In a short series of tweets, he claimed Gov. Gavin Newsom changed the rules of how the state was due to vote on Tuesday, May 12. Trump claimed Newsom wanted "mail-in vote only" but has since opened polling places.
The president also tweeted that Newsom isn't allowing restaurants or beaches open, but he is allowing polling places to operate. Trump claimed this was a way to take an election he says Republican Mike Garcia is "winning," away from the party.
The conservative candidate in California's District 25 special election also hinted something untoward was happening on Friday night. Garcia took to his own Twitter account to level allegations against his opponent, Christy Smith.
Garcia claimed Smith and her "liberal Dem allies didn't say anything for weeks even though the polling places were in full view of the public. Even after every voter received a ballot, they are desperate and trying to change the rules to steal an election."
Garcia added the right to vote is something he fought for as a member of the military, but what is happening in California isn't a fair process. It seems as though Trump either saw or was alerted to the tweets the night before and followed suit with his allegation.Pundits on both sides of the political aisle are watching this special election closely. Most believe it could be a bellwether as to how November is going to go, assuming the country is still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
District 25 had been a consistently Republican part of the state until 2018 when Katie Hill won an upset victory by nine points. She has since resigned from the seat due to allegations of inappropriate conduct with one of her former aides. That resignation eventually led to Tuesday's special election.
Polls show a neck-and-neck fight between Garcia and Smith. Trump and his allies are reportedly hoping a win on Tuesday will give them momentum heading into the fall.
While Trump is claiming Newsom changed the rules to rig the election in favor of the Democrats, it appears he's referring to a recent executive order that is aimed at November. According to CBS News, Newsom signed the order on Friday night, making sure every voter in California will be issued a mail-in ballot for the fall.
Notably, the state is still allowing in-person voting, but Newsom said he wants to make sure those who aren't comfortable going to a polling place, still have a voice.