In a pair of Tweets, Trump threatened to withhold money to Michigan and Nevada over mail-in-voting proposals.
Note: Trump deleted that Tweet. The Michigan Sec of State responded to it.
In case Trump deletes the above Tweet as well, I captured an image.
Response From Michigan
Jocelyn Benson is Michigan's Secretary of State. She sent applications, not ballots, like many Republican states.
Trump Repeats Unfounded Claims About Mail-In Voting
Elections are run by state and local governments, and it's unclear what legal means Trump would have to withhold funds from the states.
Benson, the Michigan secretary of state, responded to Trump's tweet noting that a number of states are taking the same action, including states with Republican election officials. In a statement, she added that absentee ballot "applications are mailed nearly every election cycle by both major parties and countless advocacy and nonpartisan organizations."
Trump's comments come two days after Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said she's fine with absentee ballot applications. Trump's objections come despite the fact that he voted by mail in Florida's recent primary and has voted absentee in previous elections.
Vote-by-Mail Neutral Impact
Stanford University research shows Voting by Mail Shows Neutral Partisan Effects.
In examining voter data in three states with staggered rollouts of vote-by-mail programs — California, Utah and Washington — the researchers found that the introduction of mail-in voting did not have an effect, on average, on the share of voter turnout for either Republicans or Democrats.
Researchers also found that expanding vote-by-mail does not appear to increase the vote share for candidates of either political party. Taken together, the researchers say their findings essentially dispel concerns that mail-in voting would cause a major electoral shift toward one party.
“Our paper has a clear takeaway: Claims that vote-by-mail fundamentally advantages one party over the other appear overblown,” the researchers stated in their working paper.
Vote by Mail is the Default in 5 States Already
Few States Are Prepared To Switch To Voting By Mail
538 reports Few States Are Prepared To Switch To Voting By Mail.
Converting to a vote-by-mail system is arduous and expensive, and most states simply aren’t set up to smoothly conduct a mail election with their present resources and laws.
Patchwork of State Rules
Only five states regularly conduct mail elections by default: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Another 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.) give voters the option to vote by mail — also known as no-excuse absentee voting — in federal elections, but the burden is on the voter to request her ballot.
The remaining 16 states still require voters to provide a valid excuse if they want to vote by mail, although this year, some states may accept concerns around the coronavirus as an excuse. (New Hampshire has already moved to do that for the general election.)
Three more, though, do allow counties to opt into mail voting, and nine more allow certain elections to be conducted by mail — although these are typically low-turnout, local elections, a far cry from the 2020 presidential race.
Additionally, several states may consider expanding the use of mail voting in November, at least if the coronavirus is still a threat. The secretaries of state of Arizona and Minnesota want to mail ballots to all registered voters in the fall, and bills to that effect have been proposed in Illinois and Massachusetts as well. But don’t hold your breath: There are some major obstacles standing in the way of states expanding mail voting.
Republican Objections and Hurdles
Republicans, led by President Trump, are strongly opposing efforts to convert to mail voting, arguing it boosts Democratic turnout or enables voter fraud. In reality, most studies have shown that mail voting does not advantage either party, and voter fraud is extremely rare, both in person and by mail. Indeed, Republican legislators have already spoken out against the proposals in Arizona and Minnesota, and President Trump and other Republicans have said they will oppose national efforts to encourage election reform.
But the bigger hurdle may be logistical. States can’t just snap their fingers and pull off a mail election on a dime; election administrators with whom we spoke agreed that preparing for a mail election is a challenge.
Earlier this month, Wisconsin election officials reported being overwhelmed by absentee-ballot requests and simply being physically unable to fulfill them all, which led to many voters never receiving their ballots. So mail voting also requires more staff. Then, when the ballots are returned, they need to be counted. For some jurisdictions, this means even more bodies
And, of course, all this — from printing ballots, to ordering envelopes, to hiring and training new workers, to buying new equipment — costs money.
It is unclear what Trump means by cutting off funds or if any states will switch this years.
Perhaps Michigan and Nevada do, but it is unclear which party would benefit.
However, Trump's unfounded claims and threats likely do benefit the Democrats.
This is Not 2016
It's important to note that this is not 2016. Trump was never well liked, but Hillary was despised.
Yet, despite the fact that Hillary was despised, Trump barely won. Some people pat themselves on the back for predicting a Trump win.
In reality, they were lucky.
No one could have foreseen that Comey would come out of the blue at the last moment with a blast at Hillary. I believe that tipped the election.
Devil You Know
“People like that choose the devil they don’t know,” said Christopher Nicholas, a longtime Republican consultant based in Pennsylvania. “What’s different in 2020? He’s the incumbent. So, he’s the devil you know … That’s why those numbers have flipped so precipitously from ’16 to '20, and there’s nothing inherent you can do about that, because Trump is the incumbent.”
“There’s no way Joe Biden will be as bad a candidate as Hillary Clinton.”
Those Who Hate Trump and Biden Will Decide the Election
Although this is not 2016, there is one similarity: In the end, Those Who Hate Trump and Biden Will Decide the Election