By Joseph Marks
President Trump at a
President Trump railed yesterday against expanding voting by mail to keep U.S.
It's a controversial marker for the president to set down when many states have had to delay their primary elections because of fears that in-person voting could spread the virus. And it puts him at odds with congressional Democrats pushing for billions in federal money to ensure no-excuse absentee voting for all Americans in November – as well as many Republican state officials in places like Georgia and West Virginia that are rushing to broaden mail-in voting during the pandemic.
Trump's pointed criticism could cast doubt on the validity of mail-in balloting for some of his supporters and make it awkward for Republican state officials who want to pursue the strategy in case in-person voting is still a problem in November.
“Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country because they’re cheaters,” Trump said during his daily
Nonetheless, the president went on to charge that widespread voting by mail would lead to thousands of forged ballots. But the president defended his own decision to vote by mail in Florida, saying out-of-state mail votes are more acceptable and suggesting his absentee ballot was better verified than others.
“I can vote by mail because I’m allowed to,” he said. “I happen to be in the White House, and I won’t be able to go to Florida to vote.”
The declarations came the same day Wisconsin held a primary election bedeviled by closed polling sites, long, snaking lines and voters who said they were forced to show up at the polls after absentee ballots they requested after the pandemic struck never arrived, as my colleagues Elise Viebeck, Amy Gardner, Dan Simmons and Jan M. Larson report.
Wisconsin is the only state with an April primary that didn't delay voting because of the pandemic. The election went forward after the Republican-led legislature and
That prompted Democrats to accuse Republicans of forcing voters to risk their health to exercise their democratic rights. They also fretted that if the federal government doesn’t move fast, it could result in millions of Americans being disenfranchised in November.
Trump has also played into Democrats' fears, seeming to suggest during an earlier news conference that voting by mail would favor Democrats and that if he had agreed to Democrats’ demands for $4 billion for voting by mail and other reforms in the recent $2 trillion
Democrats were able to secure only $400 million with no mandates on how states must spend the money in the stimulus bill. A Senate bill mandating nationwide access to absentee ballots and expanded early voting days sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) hasn't won over any Republicans.
The fight also “foreshadowed the likelihood that Wisconsin, an important presidential battleground state, could become the epicenter of partisan rancor as the health crisis continues to upend the 2020 race,” as my colleagues noted.
State officials don't plan to release results in the race until Monday.
Trump yesterday described alleged instances of absentee voter fraud where “you get thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody’s living room signing ballots.".
There’s no evidence at all of absentee voter fraud on that scale, and states that vote entirely by mail range from left-leaning Washington and Oregon to conservative Utah. Absentee voting is at the center of a handful of voting fraud scandals, however, most notably during a 2018 North Carolina congressional race, which led the State Board of Elections there to order a new vote and produced criminal charges against a Republican operative among others.
Trump also charged, incorrectly, that Evers tried to delay the vote only after the president endorsed the Republican in a hotly contested state Supreme Court case. In fact, Evers pushed to delay the election before Trump’s endorsement and has been seeking other remedies – including sending mail-in ballots to all registered voters. But he is barred from acting without the legislature.
CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez documented the blocks-long line outside one of only five voting locations that opened in Milwaukee because of public health concerns and a dearth of poll workers willing and able to work during the pandemic.
The city typically has about 180 polling locations open on Election Day.
In the middle of the— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) April 7, 2020
coronaviruspandemic, THIS is the line for in person voting asthe polls open for Election Day in Wisconsin. #COVID19 #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/WplsSHy9RF
What's happening at polling locations across Wisconsin right now is outrageous. We cannot continue to ignore the threat that #COVID19 has on our elections.— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) April 7, 2020
We must plan ahead for Nov. & pass my bill to keep all Americans safe by expanding #VoteByMail & extending early voting.
Today, Wisconsin voters had to choose between making their voice heard and keeping themselves and their family safe. No American should ever have to make that choice.— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) April 7, 2020
We must do better to ensure voting is safe for all voters. The latest Wisconsin voting information is below. https://t.co/x1LwEb9H4N
The plan got an enthusiastic thumbs up from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who remains in the Democratic primary
I agree with @ewarren that our response to the COVID-19 crisis must include a robust plan to protect the right to vote, and in fact, make it easier to vote— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 7, 2020
. https :// t.co/bgWZomzt3j
PINGED, PATCHED, PWNED
The letter cites concerns that intelligence officials walked back a March 10 assessment that Russia is supporting Trump in 2020 after the assessment leaked and embarrassed the White House. Trump tapped Grenell, a longtime loyalist, to replace acting DNI Joseph Maguire after that briefing despite Grenell's limited intelligence experience.
“It calls into doubt whether Congress and the American people can trust that the [intelligence community] will continue producing unvarnished intelligence assessments on foreign interference efforts as the 2020 presidential election approaches,” Schiff wrote.
He asked Grenell for an updated briefing on election security by the end of May. The letter also raises concerns about Trump's recent firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael
His letter was sent to the press before it was sent to me. These press leaks politicizing the intelligence community must stop. https://t.co/hdWIzGWvZr— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 7, 2020
(Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
The facts & practices unearthed by researchers in recent weeks are alarming—we should be concerned about what remains hidden. As Zoom becomes embedded in Americans’ daily lives, we urgently need a full & transparent investigation of its privacy & security.— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) April 7, 2020
The Department of Homeland Security said that the company has begun to address security concerns and that Zoom’s product for government is safe for federal use, Raphael Satter and Christopher Bing at Reuters report.
A protective mask is improperly discarded on a curb.
McAfee Labs found several malicious Android applications with names like “Corona Safety mask” that contained spyware and
PUBLIC KEY— Still hungry for more election security guidance? Here are reports out yesterday and this morning from the
—The North American Energy Reliability Corporation wants to delay the deadline for several