President Trump said Thursday that one of the sticking points holding up a congressional deal for another round of coronavirus relief is funding for the Post Office, which he said Democrats want in order to bolster universal mail-in voting.
“They want $3.5 billion dollars for something that will turn out to be fraudulent, election money basically … the mail-in votes, okay, universal mail-in ballots,” Trump said on Fox Business Thursday morning.
Democratic lawmakers also want $25 billion in funding for the Post Office, Trump said.
“Now, they need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” the president continued. “Those are just two items, but if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”
Asked whether the Post Office funding is the issue holding up a congressional deal on coronavirus relief, Trump responded, “No, that’s only one aspect of it.”
Democrats have pushed to make mail-in voting universally available to protect voters from possible exposure to the coronavirus at polling places. Republicans meanwhile have cautioned that large numbers of voters using absentee ballots could result in ballots being lost in the mail, sent to those who have died, or sent to voters who no longer live at a particular address. An additional concern is the amount of time it would take to count all the mail-in ballots.
“The Post Office is going to have to go to town to get these ridiculous ballots in,” Trump said. “You know, there’s nothing wrong with getting out and voting. You get out and vote. They voted during World War I and World War II.”
Trump also said states should require voters to produce identification before they can cast their vote, “because the Democrats scam the system.” Democrats in Congress are fighting voter ID laws “tooth-and-nail because they cheat,” he said.
Despite warning about widespread voting by absentee ballot as a potential breeding ground for election fraud, Trump last week encouraged Florida residents to vote by mail, assuring that the state’s election system is “safe and secure.”
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has mounted a slew of legal challenges against attempts by Democrats to expand voting by mail, including suing Nevada over its plan to send ballots to all active voters.
“It’s being challenged at many different levels. We have many different lawsuits out there,” Trump said. “This will be the greatest fraud in history.”