President Trump, Who Voted By Mail in 2018 and Plans to Vote By Mail in 2020, Opposes Voting By Mail

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

President Trump Opposes Voting Absentee by Mail in 2020 Elections, Yet Voted by Mail in New York (2018) and Has Applied to Vote by Mail in Florida (2020)

Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump Voted Absentee (Unsuccessfully) in NY (2017), Jared Kushner Registered to Vote in NY and NJ Simultaneously (2017)

Statement of Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer

On Friday, April 3, 2020, President Trump said at the coronavirus task force briefing that he opposed using mail-in ballots in the November elections and that every person should vote at the booth and have voter ID.
 
While Trump baselessly claimed mail-in voting allows “a lot of people to cheat,” he made clear earlier on March 30 his real reason for opposing mail-in ballots. Trump said “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,” if you made it easier for people to vote.
 
However, Trump is practicing “do as I say not as I do.”
 
At the very time he opposed absentee voting by mail for the 2020 elections, he had already applied in Florida to vote absentee by mail in Florida in 2020. According to a Palm Beach Post article published on March 11, 2020, “President Donald Trump, now a Palm Beach resident registered to vote in Florida, has requested a vote-by-mail ballot for the Florida Republican presidential primary.”

Furthermore, Trump voted absentee by mail in New York in 2018. According to a Quartz article published on November 6, 2018, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said that “Donald Trump voted ‘absentee a couple of weeks ago.’”
 
What is good enough for President Trump must also be good enough for every American voter.
 
Trump’s position on absentee voting by mail is not only blatant hypocrisy but also makes clear that Trump has zero credibility in opposing absentee voting by mail, based on his own past actions.
 
Furthermore, Trump is not the only member of his family to pursue absentee voting by mail.
 
Both Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump submitted absentee ballots by mail in 2017 in New York. Unfortunately, both reportedly were unsuccessful voters as Melania Trump failed to sign the envelope containing the ballot and Ivanka Trump mailed her absentee ballot too late to be counted.
 
And then there is Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was reportedly registered to vote in New York and New Jersey simultaneously in 2017. President Trump has, without evidence, labeled this as an indication of widespread voter fraud even though it is likely often done without intent or consequence.
 
President Trump has already attempted to rig the 2020 presidential election and was impeached by the House for his efforts. Trump’s continuing efforts to rig the November election, in this case by suppressing the sacred right to vote, must be defeated.
 
Every eligible voter must have a safe and secure opportunity to vote in November.
 
In order to accomplish this, it is essential for Congress to provide the states with additional funding of at least $1.6 billion in the next relief bill, which is necessary to ensure that fair and honest elections occur in November, unrigged by President Trump and his allies.


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Fred Wertheimer is the Founder and President of Democracy 21, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to strengthen our democracy and promotes government integrity, accountability and transparency measures to accomplish its goals.

Wertheimer has spent more than four decades working on democracy and governance issues, and is a recognized national leader and spokesman on money in politics issues, including campaign finance, ethics, lobbying and transparency reforms.

He has been described by The New York Times as “the country’s leading proponent of campaign finance reform,” and “the dean of campaign finance reformers,” by Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne as “the eminence grise of the campaign reform movement” and by The Boston Globe as a “legendary open-government activist.”

The Washington Post said “Democracy 21 is one of Washington’s foremost watchdog groups.”

Wertheimer was named as one of Washington’s 90 greatest lawyers of the last 30 years by Legal Times in 2008 and as one of Washington’s top lobbyists for several years by The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

A graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School, Wertheimer served from 1981 to 1995 as President of Common Cause, a nonpartisan citizens’ lobby. He served in 1996 as a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, and in 1997 as the J. Skelly Wright Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School. Wertheimer also has served as a political analyst and consultant for CBS News, ABC News and ABC’s Nightline.

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