Former President Donald Trump continues to push for single-day, in-person voting in elections — prohibiting mail-in ballots and early voting that 69% of American voters used in 2020.
Despite the risk of slashing voter rolls by making casting a ballot far more difficult, Trump called last week at a Nashville convention for “same-day voting.”
“Ultimately, we want same-day voting — one day — and only paper ballots,” Trump said to cheers.
Trump has justified the GOP push for more difficult and restrictive voting by claiming it will protect against the kind of rigged election he insists occurred in 2020 — which has proven to be a lie. Ironically, Trump, who has baselessly claimed mail ballots are “corrupt,” votes by mail.
Critics say Trump’s goal is to significantly decrease the number of votes, which is generally considered beneficial to Republicans. One user on Twitter quipped that Trump is running on a platform urging: “Don’t count all the votes.”
Trump said on Fox News in 2020 that “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again” if “voting levels” were expanded. (Research has shown, however, that mail-in ballots don’t appear to give either party a distinct advantage.)
Witnesses who testified at last week’s hearings before the House select committee investigating the insurrection, said that Trump wanted to shut down voting and not count anymore ballots while he was still ahead on election night. He tweeted the following morning: “Stop the count!”
But that’s not the way elections work.
Former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt testified about the “red mirage” when Republicans tend to be ahead in the evening of an election day before late and mail-in votes are counted, and catch up to, and often surpass, the early leaders.
Trump, however, declared that night before all the votes were tallied: “Frankly, we did win this election.”
The U.S. Census Department reported that in the 2020 election 69% of American voters nationwide cast their ballot “nontraditionally” — by mail and/or before Election Day.
Early and mail-in voting have tremendously increased the convenience of casting a ballot, allowing and encouraging more people to vote. For example, homebound and bed-ridden citizens can now easily vote by mail.
Early voting and mail-in ballots also aid people who work long hours or multiple jobs, or are juggling child care and are not able to get to polling spots before they close. Many employers don’t allow extra time to vote. Voters also no longer have to drive long distances to rural polling places on one particular day.
Trump’s plan completely overlooks Americans abroad, including employees working overseas, service members and staff of diplomatic postings, who mail in their ballots.
Critics on Twitter weren’t keen on Trump’s plot to make voting onerous.