Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisJoe Manchin should embrace paid leave — now The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends disappointing jobs report Harris's office undergoes difficult reset MORE on Wednesday night accused President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE of promoting voter suppression during heated comments on election integrity at the vice presidential debate.
“If we use our voice, we will win, and we will not let anyone subvert our democracy with what Donald Trump has been doing, as he did on the main stage last week,” Harris said in answer to a question on ensuring a peaceful transition of power should President Trump lose the election. “He openly attempted to suppress the vote.”
The California senator was likely referring to comments by President Trump during the first presidential debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMarcus Garvey's descendants call for Biden to pardon civil rights leader posthumously GOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors MORE last week, during which Trump urged his supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully,” citing concerns over voter fraud.
Voting integrity experts have argued in the days since the debate that Trump’s comments could lead to voter intimidation at the polls and that laws, including the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act, prohibit attempts to intimidate, threaten, coerce or interfere with anyone trying to vote.
“We believe in the American people, we believe in our democracy, and here is what I would like to say to everybody, please vote, vote early,” Harris said Wednesday night. “We have it within our power in the next 27 days to make a decision about what will be the course of our country the next four years.”
When asked by debate moderator Susan Page what he would do if Trump refused to accept the election outcome, Pence skirted the question, instead emphasizing his belief that Trump would win in November.
“I think we are going to win this election. President Trump and I are fighting every day in courthouses to prevent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from changing the rules and creating this universal mail-in voting which would create massive opportunity for voter fraud,” Pence said. “We have a free and fair election, we know we are going to have confidence in it, and I believe in all my heart that President Donald Trump is going to be elected for four more years.”
Democrats and Republicans have repeatedly clashed in court nationwide over concerns around expanding mail-in voting to accommodate an expected surge in mail-in ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump and other leading Republicans have repeatedly raised concerns over the past month about the safety and security of mail-in voting, citing mostly unsubstantiated claims that it leads to voter fraud.
Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to remove or flag Trump’s posts on mail-in voting. Twitter flagged a post from Trump earlier this week in which he wrote, “THE MEDIA IS CORRUPT, JUST LIKE OUR DEMOCRAT RUN BALLOT SYSTEM IS CORRUPT! Look at what’s happening with Fake, Missing and Fraudulent Ballots all over the Country??? VOTE.”