Pompeo says mail voting poses a 'real risk'

Pompeo says mail voting poses a 'real risk'
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoTo advance democracy, defend Taiwan and Ukraine Haley has 'positive' meeting with Trump No time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump MORE on Friday said there is a “real risk” to the U.S. elections if states mail ballots to registered voters, echoing President TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE’s criticism of efforts by states to ramp up mail voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pompeo, speaking on Fox News's "Fox & Friends," was responding to a question about whether he shared Trump’s worries about mail-in voting. The president has attacked the idea of mail-in voting as ripe for fraud despite little to no evidence of such risks.

“It's a little out of my lane as secretary of State, but it's a matter of logic,” Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, told the program.

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“If states change the rules and try on the fly in this election ... just mail ballots to people that are on the mailing list on the voter rolls, there’s real risk and the American people deserve to have an election that they can have confidence in.”

The State Department has encouraged absentee ballots for Americans who are abroad, regularly posting reminders on Twitter for U.S. citizens to vote ahead of deadlines in their home states.

Pompeo on Friday said he had likely voted by absentee ballot before.

He said that Trump administration officials want to make sure that the “election is free and fair and that every ballot is counted appropriately.”

Pompeo, who is considered a likely candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential ticket, has often blurred the lines between his position as America’s top diplomat and partisan politics.

He has drawn intense criticism from Democrats and former State Department officials for addressing the Republican National Convention from Jerusalem, considered an egregious break from norms for secretaries of State and a violation of State Department guidelines prohibiting political activity by diplomats while on duty and working abroad.

The secretary is also under investigation by a House subcommittee for possible violation of the Hatch Act.