President Trump has admitted to intentional voter suppression. The Post reports, "President Trump said Thursday that he does not want to fund the U.S. Postal Service because Democrats are seeking to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, making explicit the reason he has declined to approve $25 billion in emergency funding for the cash-strapped agency." There is no nuance, no joke. Republicans are firmly opposing free and fair elections — unless they do something about this.
Trump and Republicans have been successful in imposing a raft of measures designed to deter voting (voter ID requirements, limits on early voting, closing poll locations in poor areas, purging voter rolls), but they have usually disguised their activities under the bogus heading of "fraud prevention." Voter fraud is exceptionally rare, whether in person or by mail. (In recent cases, such as the attempt at fraud by Republican operatives in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, the suspects were caught.) Perhaps Trump forgot that just the other day he was praising voting by mail in Florida. Now, he is apparently content to make it difficult if not impossible for millions of people concerned about their health in the pandemic to vote from home.
The irony, of course, is that Republicans are now spooked about absentee ballots and thereby risk losing out when their own voters cannot get to the polls (or face long lines) on Election Day. That is why many state and local Republican groups are pulling their hair out in response to Trump's anti-absentee vote rhetoric.
Asked about Trump's comments at her news conference on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that Trump is "afraid of the American people. He's been afraid for a while. He knows that on the legit, it'd be hard for him to win. So he wants to put obstacles of participation." She vowed, "But we do not agonize, we organize."
Trump's war on the U.S. Postal Service is not just un-American and anti-democratic, but foolish. A great many people, including veterans and the elderly (especially in rural areas), depend on mail. VoteVets, a progressive veterans group, put out an ad making this point:
Democrats should not shy from hardball here. Why does Trump hate vets and the elderly? Why is Trump afraid of voting?
Former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) surely can raise the visibility of the issue, since it goes to the heart of the Trump plague. He would rather destroy government or co-opt it than put the interests of the people over his own (getting dirt on an opponent from a foreign government, using his office to promote hotels, refusing to protect U.S. troops rather than confront his BFF Vladimir Putin). He would rather shift blame to others or simply lie than use the powers of the federal government to set up a national testing and tracing system to address the pandemic. He would rather endanger children by returning them to classrooms in hopes of improving the economy than spend money, if local conditions require, to have them attend school virtually or through a hybrid system.
This is anti-government animus at a whole new level. It is a deliberate scheme to wreck the operation of government so he can stay in power. This is the conduct of tin pot dictators.
Other than highlight and condemn Trump's shenanigans, what can Democrats and other pro-democracy Americans do? First, every Democrat, especially in rural areas or those with a significant percentage of veterans and elderly voters, should force Republicans to explain why they are complicit in destroying the Postal Service. Second, Democrats need to make an all-out push not just for early, in-person voting but also early return of absentee ballots. In addition, most states have an option to drop off absentee ballots at an election location. If seniors or others need help doing this, volunteers must be organized to drive them to drop-off locations. Third, states and localities need to be pressured to create ballot drop boxes in multiple locations, near shopping areas and other accessible places.
If the Michael Bloombergs and Tom Steyers are looking for something useful to do, they can blanket the airwaves with a simple message: Vote early — from home or at the polls. Drop it off in person, if you can.
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, August 13, 2020
The cover photo on Voices4America is from ABC News and replaces one of Trump in Wapo.
August 14, 2020
Voices4America Post Script. Trump once again attacks democracy, this time by disrupting the Post office, cutting its funding, slowing its activities.
Despite Trumpian claims, mail in voting, desperately needed during the Pandemic, has proved to safer than electronic voting everywhere it has been used. produces countable paper ballots. 5 states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington – already conduct all-mail elections with great success and without fraud. Did I mention that Donald and Melania Trump have requested a vote-by-mail ballot ahead of Florida's primary election on Tuesday?
Trump is afraid of large voter turnout, and mail-in ballots are simply his latest targets to suppress voter turnout. He can't win if you all vote.
What can you do? This article has a list (see emboldened paragraph above) and a reminder: Vote early — from home or at the polls. Drop your ballot off in person, if you can.
Spread the word. Share this!
Please take a minute and sign our petition demanding that Tammy Whitcomb, the United States Postal Service Inspector General, investigate the Trump slowdown at the United States Post Office and ensure that every mail-in ballot is counted this election cycle.
Please sign our petition. The United States Postal Service Inspector General must investigate the Trump slowdown at the United States Post Office and ensure every mail-in ballot is counted!
The Trump Administration appears to be engineering a United States Postal Service breakdown to prevent millions of Americans from voting by mail.
First, the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign spent $20 million to limit voting by mail in battleground states including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.
Now, recent changes made by President Trump's Postmaster pose a threat to mail-in ballots in the 2020 general election by undercutting the ability of the postal service to deliver the mail.
We are collecting online petition signatures to demonstrate the public outrage in response to President Trump politicizing the Post Office. We think that if we can collect 10,000 petition signatures, we can show elected officials that Americans stand with the post office and support voting by mail.
Thanks so much for your support!
he USPS is asking that we follow their union Twitter feed @APWUnational to show our support. So, please, I ask if you will pass this along.
What about the Letter Carriers union? @NALC_National @NRLCA