Mitt Romney Breaks With Donald Trump Over Mail-In Voting
During an interview with the Sutherland Institute, which can be seen here, Romney rejected Trump’s claims that vote-by-mail would lead to widespread manipulation and fraud.
“I don’t know of any evidence that voting by mail would increase voter fraud,” he said.
He continued by noting that he is, nevertheless, concerned about potential cyber-attacks.
“My biggest concern, frankly, with regards to voting fraud has been that there would be some kind of hacking of our voting electronic systems, and that voting machines or tabulating equipment would be hacked.”
Romney said that it was “essential” that Americans who want to vote are able to do so amid the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that it is crucial to “preserve the principle of democracy or the trend we’re on is going to continue to get worse.”
Romney did not mention the commander-in-chief by name, but he stressed that politicians need to stop attacking the foundations of American democracy.
“When politicians attack a judicial system, attack a voting system… attack a free press, these things threaten the foundation upon which not only our own democracy rests but democracies around the world rest,” he said.
Over the years, unlike most Republicans, Romney has expressed opposition to the commander-in-chief, criticizing his rhetoric and policy proposals. He was also the only Republican to vote to convict Trump in the United States Senate’s impeachment trial earlier this year.
Trump has long argued against mail-in voting, even even though he voted by mail in the Florida presidential primary. He and first lady Melania Trump are expected to do the same in November.
In recent weeks, in an apparent effort to crack down on vote-by-mail, Trump and his allies have taken aim at the U.S. Postal Service. Democrats have argued that postal voting programs need to be expanded, citing concerns over public health amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to help states across the nation hold elections, the Democratic Party sought to provide the USPS with $25 billion in funding. Trump rejected their demands, saying that he would be open to funding the Postal Service if Democrats compromise on the fifth coronavirus relief bill.
Per The Inquisitr, some Republicans reportedly fear that Trump’s railing against mail-in voting could backfire. Notably, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele suggested that Trump’s attacks on this form of voting could depress GOP turnout in November and help Democrats win.