Press release July 30, 2020
United States: President Must Cease Calls for Election Delay and Groundless Attacks on Mail-in Voting
Mail-in balloting is secure and will be essential for safe elections during the pandemic.
In response to President Donald Trump’s latest claims that mail-in voting will enable massive fraud in the November general elections, and suggestion that the elections be delayed, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The president does not have the power to delay the elections,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “The danger here is that he is using groundless claims about the integrity of mail-in voting to try to delegitimize the electoral process. Those of us who hold democracy dear must reject this ploy.”
“The president’s baseless attacks on the integrity of mail-in voting are grossly irresponsible and must end before any further damage to public confidence is done. It is extremely unusual, in the United States or anywhere in the world, for an incumbent leader to predict fraud in his own bid for reelection. President Trump has a duty to safeguard the electoral system while in office, and if he is concerned that state officials and the postal service are unprepared, he should ask Congress to allocate more resources without further delay.”
“The fact is that large-scale postal voting has been used safely for many years in several states, and electoral officials of both parties have moved to increase access to vote-by-mail procedures in light of the threat posed by COVID-19,” Abramowitz added. “While authorities should also ensure that in-person voting is safe and accessible, for instance by allowing early voting and extending voting hours on election day, mail-in voting has become an essential component of democratic practice in 2020.”
On July 30, President Trump tweeted that “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”. However, experts agree that postal balloting is a safe way to participate in elections while observing social-distancing rules. It was already the primary means of voting in five states—Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—before the pandemic, and the percentage of voters who choose to cast ballots by mail in other states has grown over time, with virtually no fraud documented.
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