Former president Barack Obama attacked President Trump after he said that he is against funding the United State Postal Service in order to hinder a rise in mail-in ballots, which could make it tougher for him to win the election in November.
In a tweet Friday morning (August 14), Obama accused the Trump administration of looking at seniors and others who depend on the U.S. Mail as “collateral damage” in his efforts to manipulate voting.
During an interview with Fox Business Network, Trump said that he opposes two relief packages that Democrats are pushing in Congress, but have stalled. Without money, the Postal Service would not be able to handle the increase in mail-in ballots from voters who wish to avoid polling places in an effort to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now, they need that money in order to make the post office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said. “Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it.”
Trump has said for several weeks that he believes mail-in ballots could lead to voter fraud. His campaign has joined a lawsuit against two Democratic-voting counties in Iowa to invalidate many thousands of voter absentee ballot applications, according to the Associated Press. The campaign has also engaged in legal efforts to change how Pennsylvania processes mail-in ballots, the AP reported.
Because of actions like these, Obama is warning voters in states where early voting is possible to do so now.
Ironically, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) sent letters to 46 states and D.C. —including several important battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida — to explain that despite the ability to handle a deluge of mail in the past particularly during the holidays they cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail will arrive in time to be counted towards the November 3rd election. According to the Washington Post, even if voters follow all the rules and send in their mail-in ballots on time the slowness of the USPS may render their vote invalid. Postal officials blame cost-cutting, lack of sorting machines, and a change in leadership as some of the reasons for the current and potential slowdown. The key solution and advice touted by voting advocates and even former President Obama is for voters to request or cast ballots earlier than their state’s deadline.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, upon hearing about his opponent’s attitude toward mail-in voting called it “pure Trump.”
“He doesn’t want an election,” Biden told reporters.