President Trump’s unrelenting assault on the postal service and the vote-by-mail program that the United States has successfully used since the Civil War continued on Monday morning with the President tweeting what commentators immediately condemned as an “insidious lie.”
Some states use “drop boxes” for the collection of Universal Mail-In Ballots. So who is going to “collect” the Ballots, and what might be done to them prior to tabulation? A Rigged Election? So bad for our Country. Only Absentee Ballots acceptable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2020
Absentee ballots and mail-in ballots are essentially the same thing, the only difference being that absentee ballots are specifically intended for voters who cannot physically make it to the polls — because they are out of state for some reason, at college, in prison, or possibly avoiding exposure to a pandemic — and mail-in ballots are sent by some states to all voters, whether they can make it to the polls or not.
President Trump himself votes absentee and “drop boxes” are used in his home county of Palm Beach, Florida, but all of that is entirely irrelevant as he wages a two-front war against the United States Postal Service itself and against the concept of mail-in voting itself as COVID-19 makes in-person voting an extremely dangerous prospect.
Republican have spent decades using the imaginary specter of voter fraud as an excuse to pass restrictive voting laws designed to disenfranchise minority and youth voters, but this represents an unprecedented escalation of rhetoric that not only spits in the face of reality but is a clear-cut attempt to tilt the election in Donald Trump’s favor.
This is even more disturbing considering how he continually floats the idea of disputing the election result if it goes against him, like he did this morning on FOX and Friends:
Given a chance to reassure people that he will indeed leave office if he loses in November, Trump immediately changes the topic to bashing Hillary Clinton. He eventually suggests he’ll challenge the results in the event of a Biden win. pic.twitter.com/NQHspG8Wvg
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 17, 2020
Prominent political commentators immediately lined up in defense of the truth:
This is a brazen lie about how voting works. Dem and GOP officials run elections with "ballot drop boxes" across the country. They say it works great and voters love it. There are safeguards in place, like 24/7 video surveillance. Learn the truth here –> https://t.co/Ht8OzskPOh https://t.co/ceqWh5cmov
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) August 17, 2020
This is an insidious lie. Palm Beach County, where Trump voted by mail despite not being legally entitled to live at the address he used as his legal residence, uses drop boxes.
Ultimately the ballots’ signatures are checked against registered voters. https://t.co/E79ZFPQrfO
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) August 17, 2020
Drop boxes are a safe and secure way for voters to return their ballots. They complement other options for returning ballots.
Trump continues his baseless attacks which are intended to cause chaos and confusion. pic.twitter.com/XwQAi4cSYP
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) August 17, 2020
In Ohio, which has no-excuse absentee voting, ballots from drop boxes must be collected once daily by both a Republican and Democratic member from the board of elections. https://t.co/lMysMWZhph https://t.co/jqtotP78C2
— Sam Levine (@srl) August 17, 2020
1) Election officials monitor the boxes and collect the ballots 2) Drop boxes aren’t solely used in states with all-mail elections, but also in states that require voters to affirmately request ballots, like Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, etc https://t.co/idSdtJxuoR
— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) August 17, 2020