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Manchin: Trump's West Virginia ballot fraud claim 'just plain wrong'

Manchin: Trump's West Virginia ballot fraud claim 'just plain wrong'

West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPush to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears Tom Cotton: 'No doubt' coronavirus won't stop confirmation of SCOTUS nominee MORE (D) said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE’s claim on the debate stage the night before that his state experiences widespread voter fraud connected to mail-in ballots is “just plain wrong.” 

Trump claimed that in West Virginia, “Mailmen are selling the ballots, they're being sold.” 

“It’s plain wrong that President Trump would mislead Americans to think mail-in voter fraud is happening in West Virginia,” Manchin said in a statement. “There is no widespread voter fraud in West Virginia and any claim to the contrary is false.”

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Trump appeared to be referring to an individual case in which one mail carrier pleaded guilty to altering five ballot request forms to change their party affiliation. The worker reportedly told prosecutors he did it as “a joke.” 

“The truth is one mail carrier altered five ballot request forms from Democrat to Republican in the primary election in Pendleton County,” Manchin said. “The judicial and electoral system worked: he was caught, charged with attempted election fraud and pled guilty."

“Mail-in voting is safe and altering ballots is a felony punishable with up to 5 years in prison and a $20,000 fine in West Virginia, in addition to any federal penalty. To suggest anything different is just not true and an attempt to undermine Americans’ faith in our Democratic process and disparage West Virginia is wrong," he continued.

Trump — who has often peddled misleading and inaccurate information about mail-in voting — also said at the Tuesday debate that people in some states can vote after Election Day. That is not the case in any state, though some states count absentee ballots received as late as Nov. 10 as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.