As he’s already done innumerable times this year, President Donald Trump once again said on Sunday that voting by mail leads to “rigged” elections. But this time Trump is getting a brutal fact-check for trying to use a town in New Jersey as proof that absentee ballots are inherently easy to manipulate.
Here’s Trump’s latest tweet mail voting:
The 2020 Election will be totally rigged if Mail-In Voting is allowed to take place, & everyone knows it. So much time is taken talking about foreign influence, but the same people won’t even discuss Mail-In election corruption. Look at Patterson, N.J. 20% of vote was corrupted!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2020
But as the Washington Post notes, the president isn’t telling the whole story. Instead, he’s merely cherry picking some of the facts in order to support his own point of view:
“Those involved in the Paterson case said the president is vastly oversimplifying what took place in a local election, using it to serve his own political purposes and overstating the extent to which problems in their city serve as some kind of national cautionary tale.”
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh made it clear that the president is simply lying:
“He’s not telling the entire truth. But then again, he’s Donald Trump.”
Additionally, many ballots that wound up being tossed out weren’t fraudulent. Instead, they were rejected due to voter error.
But perhaps the most glaring fact that Trump overlooks is that the suspected fraud was caught and rectified. Those involved were charged and the problem was easily solved.
Here’s a quick rundown of what happened in Paterson:
“Five days before the citizens of Paterson, N.J., selected new members of their city council in May, a postal employee in a neighboring town spotted something suspicious in a local post office: 347 mail-in ballots, bundled together.
“The discovery kicked off weeks of tumult in New Jersey’s third-largest city, a densely populated and diverse community. Four men, including a city councilman, have been charged with fraud. Amid the controversy, the county election board disqualified 19 percent of ballots cast in the race.”
As a matter of fact, what makes the allegations of voter fraud in Paterson the subject of so much media attention is that it’s incredibly rare, despite what Trump claims.
The bottom line is that Trump — like most Republicans — wants to keep voter participation low. When that happens, Republicans have a better chance of winning. High turnout almost always favors Democrats. That’s why the GOP tries to create barriers to voting, especially for the poor and people of color. Republicans can only win by suppressing the vote. And then they try to accuse others of manipulating the results.
Trump and the GOP are terrified of what is going to happen when voters go to the polls in November. And any “fraud” will likely be on their part, not on the part of those who are merely trying to exercise their right to vote, one of the most sacred duties we have as Americans.
Featured Image Via NBC News