President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE railed against mail-in voting in California on Tuesday and claimed the general election would be “rigged” if Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia to launch program tracking violent deaths in LGBTQ+ community California governor signs legislation targeting Amazon warehouse speed quotas Newsom signs privacy laws for abortion providers and patients MORE (D) mailed absentee ballots to every voter in the state.
Trump, who has increasingly leveled unsubstantiated claims about widespread fraud in mail-in voting, zeroed in on California in a string of tweets Tuesday morning, two days after the Republican National Committee (RNC) sued Newsom over his effort to expand mail-in voting in California during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!”
....living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2020
A number of states, like California, have moved to expand mail-in voting in order to enable citizens to safely cast ballots in upcoming primaries and general elections during the coronavirus outbreak. Newsom announced earlier this month that all registered voters in California would be sent a mail-in ballot for the November elections to encourage voting by mail.
The RNC filed a lawsuit Sunday challenging Newsom’s executive order, alleging that the move “violates eligible citizens’ right to vote” and invites fraud in voting.
Trump has targeted Democratic-controlled states over efforts to expand mail-in voting during the pandemic. The president last week threatened to withhold federal funding from Michigan over a decision by the state’s Democratic secretary of state to send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters, alleging the move was done “illegally.” Trump also similarly threatened funding to Nevada for its own plans to expand mail-in voting during the pandemic.
GOP-led states like West Virginia and Georgia have also announced plans to offer absentee ballot applications but have not drawn ire from the president.
Trump has in recent weeks issued unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims about mail-in ballots being “corrupt” and riddled with fraud. While voting experts say there are higher levels of voter fraud in mail-in voting than in-person voting, they say that overall cases of voter fraud are rare.