The Trump campaign sued the state of Pennsylvania to block the widespread use of voting by mail but reportedly failed to produce any evidence in the case. President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that voting by mail is unsafe, despite political scientists' insistence to the contrary. Now, the president is losing that argument in court as well, according to a report by The Guardian.
Reporters obtained a new 524-page court filing on the Trump campaign's lawsuit against Pennsylvania. The campaign was ordered to produce evidence that voting by mail is insecure by U.S. district judge Nicholas Ranjan, who was appointed by Trump himself. The campaign could not come up with any evidence in all those pages, possibly spelling good news for mail-in votes for this coming election. Specifically, the campaign wants to block the use of ballot drop boxes.
The Trump campaign also hoped to allow poll watchers to work in counties other than the one they worked in, and to block election officials from counting mail-in ballots if a voter forgets to put their mail-in ballot in a special "secrecy sleeve" within the envelope. However, with no evidence that these measures are needed to prevent voter fraud, the case is thin.
Ranjan ordered the Trump campaign's attorneys to turn over all of its evidence last week. It produced citations of a few cases of mail-in ballot fraud, which were included in its original complaint.
Only some of the documents in the massive filing were kept confidential from reporters this week, but it appears that those did not pertain to the evidence the campaign could not produce. The Trump team found nothing relating specifically to drop boxes or mail-in ballots.
The 2020 presidential election will see widespread use of mail-in ballots as a safety measure due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, many political analysts have suggested that the practice could have the secondary effect of increasing voter turnout in general, since Americans will not need to take time off work, find child care or travel in order to get to the polls.
Further, some — such as Russell Berman for The Atlantic — suggest that Trump and other Republicans oppose mail-in voting because they believe that a greater voter turnout would be a disadvantage to them. Trump won the 2016 election in the electoral college, but in terms of overall votes from American people, he lost by more than two percent. If more voters cast ballots, it could close that margin and hurt his chances.