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POLITICS 

08/03/2020 09:28 pm ET

After Undermining Postal Service, Trump Claims It’s Not Ready For Mail-In Voting

The president made more unfounded claims criticizing mail-in voting, which more Americans are expected to use amid the coronavirus pandemic.

By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

 

President Donald Trump again went after the United States Postal Service, this time claiming it is not “prepared” for a rise in mail-in ballots in the upcoming general election.

Voters are expected to vote by mail in record numbers in November as gatherings in public, including at polling places, threaten people’s health amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s never been a push like this for mail-in ballots,” Trump said at Monday’s White House coronavirus briefing. The president went on to criticize primary elections in states like New York and New Jersey, which used expanded mail-in voting this year, and railed against Nevada’s Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who’s expected to sign a bill to mail ballots to all eligible voters.

Trump then went in on the postal service, which has been a target of his attacks for years.

“By the way, I have to say, the post office for many years has been run in a fashion that hasn’t been great. … And I don’t think the post office is prepared for a thing like this,” Trump said of mail-in ballot use in the general election. “How can the post office be expected to handle?”

The president went on to list how USPS receives not only “regular mailing,” but also “a massive number of purchases” from “the internet” and Amazon, calling this “a tremendous strain.” (Some states provide secure drop boxes for voters so they can opt not to send their ballots through the mail, however.)

HuffPost did not immediately get a response from USPS for comment.

“Again, absentee is great, it works. Like in Florida, they’ll do absentee, it really works,” said Trump, who has voted by absentee ballot himself and ignores that absentee ballots are, in fact, mail-in ballots. “But universal mail-in ballots, it’s going to be a great embarrassment to our country.”

Trump has repeatedly and baselessly claimed elections using mail-in ballots are “fraudulent.” There is no evidence of this.

Meanwhile, in recent weeks, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy — a major Trump campaign donor appointed in May — has recently made changes to the postal service in the name of cutting costs, including slashing overtime for employees and telling them to leave mail behind if it will delay carriers’ routes — all of which could slow down mail delivery in the coming months.

With the November election less than 100 days away, the U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus cases and deaths, with more than 4.6 million confirmed cases and over 155,000 dead from the virus so far.

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