Donald Trump claimed that there have been “thousands” of cases of fraud found in mail-in voting, a claim that appears to contradict a commission set up by Trump himself to investigate his claims of voter fraud that found no such instances.
As a number of states have taken steps to expand absentee and mail-in voting for the upcoming election in order to cut down on in-person voting amid the coronavirus outbreak, Trump has been vocally opposed to the idea and claimed that this form of voting is ripe for fraud. This weekend, Trump claimed that there were “thousands” of cases of forgeries or where people actively committed fraud by forcing others to vote.
“The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “People grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and ‘force’ people to sign. Also, forge names.”
Trump, who voted by absentee ballot for the Florida Republican primary, has frequently voiced his opposition to mail-in voting, which election experts say could hurt his chances of winning by increasing voter turnout.
“We don’t want them to do mail-in ballots because it’s going to lead to total election fraud,” he said this week, via the Washington Post. “So we don’t want them to do mail-in ballots. We don’t want anyone to do mail-in ballots.”
The Independent noted that this assertion was false, pointing out that it was Trump’s own commission that came to this conclusion.
“Mr. Trump’s own advisory commission on election integrity spent eight months, from May 2017 to January 2018, probing claims of voter fraud and did not turn up a single confirmed instance,” the report noted.
Trump has been criticized for his frequent claims of voter fraud, often offered without evidence to back the claims. This includes his claim that more than 5 million people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, a margin that would have given Trump the lead in the popular vote instead of the 3 million vote deficit he faced. Trump has been repeatedly pressed on this claim, but has been unable to offer any evidence to support it.
As the Washington Post noted, Trump has struggled to find support even from his own party for his claims of widespread voter fraud. The report noted that a number of Republican states have moved to expand mail-in voting for the upcoming election, anticipating continued restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.