Trump Proclaims ‘If You Can Protest In Person, You Can Vote In Person’
President Donald Trump has a message for Democrats who are pushing for universal mail-in-voting in response to the coronavirus pandemic: If people can safely show up to participate in protests, they can do the same at the polls.
The Republican president tweeted his message on Tuesday morning in the midst of the battle with Democrats over the use of mail-in ballots for the 2020 election.
“IF YOU CAN PROTEST IN PERSON, YOU CAN VOTE IN PERSON!” Trump tweeted.
The tweet likely referenced the Black Lives Matter protests that were sparked by the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest.
Former New York City Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik also retweeted a video of a demonstration against Trump’s opposition to mail-in-voting.
“People can walk side-by-side, on top of each other, but they cannot go vote and are left to corrupt voting by mail,” he tweeted.
Mail-in voting has been largely discussed as people look for safe ways to hold the 2020 presidential election.
Whereas absentee ballots can be requested by voters, a ballot is automatically mailed to every eligible voter in a vote-by-mail system, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Currently, there are five states that conduct all elections almost entirely by mail: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Democrats have been pushing for mail-in voting in the upcoming November elections.
At a virtual event in April organized by When We All Vote, a self-identified nonpartisan organization led by former Obama administration officials and others, Michelle Obama said she wanted to make sure “every single American can cast their vote and make their voice heard in this upcoming election.”
“I don’t think you need me to tell you that this work is more urgent than ever before,” Obama told viewers by phone. “No one should have to choose between casting their ballot and keeping themselves and their families and their communities safe.”
However, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that voting in person should be possible if the appropriate safety precautions are taken.
“I think if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case,” Fauci told an ABC News reporter during a National Geographic event last week.
He added that people who are “compromised physically or otherwise” can use a mail-in ballot.
“So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote in person or otherwise,” Fauci said.