The second round of stimulus checks may eventually become a reality, but President Donald Trump claims that Democrats are holding up the next relief package over a push for funding mail-in ballots. Trump appeared on Fox News' Mornings with Maria and told host Maria Bartiromo that he places the blame on Democrats for wanting to make the measure available for all U.S. citizens, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's their fault. They want $3.5 billion for something that's fraudulent," Trump said. "For the mail-in votes, universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion for the post office. They need that money so it can work and they can take these millions and millions of ballots. [...] "But if they don't get those two items, then they can't have mail-in ballots."
Trump then went on to state his long-standing criticism of mail-in ballots, claiming that they have been "sent to dogs" and to "dead people." He also cited issues of mail-in ballots causing delays in election results and alleged that one time "500,000 phony ballot applications were sent to voters" in Virginia.
Trump later added: "How would you like to have $3.5 billion for mail-in voting? You know how much money that is? They want $25 billion for the post office because the post office is going to have to go to town to get these ridiculous ballots in." He then asserted that "there is nothing wrong with getting out and voting" amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"They voted in World War I and in World War II," Trump stated. "They should have voter ID because Democrats scammed the system. If we don’t make a deal, that means they won’t get the money and they won’t have universal mail-in voting," he said, seemingly implying how he is willing to allow the next relief bill and stimulus payments, to be held up over the demand. He then criticized the state of California for sending out "tens of millions" of ballots. "Maybe they’ll go to everyone but Republicans. We’re challenging it in court. It’s being challenged at many different levels."
Trump's ongoing claims about fraudulent mail-in voting have been addressed by many different news organizations, with NPR previously getting to the bottom of the concerns by speaking with someone who has worked directly with the process.0comments
Jennifer Morrell, an elections consultant and former local elections official in both Utah and Colorado, told the outlet that faking a ballot is nearly impossible, and would require the forger to go to such great lengths just to accurately recreate one that still wouldn't even be able to be recorded on the devices used to count them.
"Ballots are built uniquely for each election. Each jurisdiction will normally have dozens to hundreds of unique ballot styles. Proofs for each ballot style are reviewed and tested to ensure the ballot scanners will read those ballots and only those ballots," Morrell said. "Even ballots created on that system from a previous election cannot be read."