President Trump, along with the RNC’s chairwoman, say that absentee voting is a precursor to widespread fraud.
The Republican National Committee has filed a federal lawsuit against California, intended to stop the state from mailing absentee voter ballots to eligible residents for the 2020 general election.
According to CNN, the Republican lawsuit comes a month after California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced that the state plans to encourage absentee voting this November.
“Elections and the right to vote are foundational to our democracy,” Newsom said last month. “No Californian should be forced to risk their health in order to exercise their right to vote.”
While other states have proposed similar plans, Newsom’s would be the most expansive.
The RNC’s lawsuit, says CNN, is one of several being fought between Republicans and Democrats in about a dozen other states.
The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history. People grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and “force” people to sign. Also, forge names. Some absentee OK, when necessary. Trying to use Covid for this Scam!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2020
Despite there being scant evidence that widespread voter fraud has taken place in any recent U.S. presidential election, Republicans have insisted that absentee voting cannot be trusted the same as ballots cast in-person.
In their lawsuit, the RNC repeatedly referred to Newsom’s proposal as a “power grab.”
“This brazen power grab was not authorized by state law and violates both the Elections Clause and Electors Clause of the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit states.
The complaint also alleges that absentee voting is a “recipe for disaster,” because ballots could be sent to “inactive voters.” That, Republicans say, “invites fraud, coercion, theft, and otherwise illegitimate voting,” with “Invalid votes [diluting] the voices of honest citizens and [depriving] them of their right to vote in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
In a statement, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel echoed the same sentiment, accusing Democrats of facilitating voter fraud.
“Democrats continue to use this pandemic as a ploy to implement their partisan election agenda, and Governor Newsom’s executive order is the latest direct assault on the integrity of our elections,” McDaniel said.
“Newsom’s illegal power grab is a recipe for disaster that would destroy the confidence Californians deserve to have in the security of their vote,” she added.
McDaniel’s remarks, notes USA Today, echo those made by President Donald Trump, who believes that mail-in voting schemes are a ploy designed to turn the 2020 election against him.
“The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history.”
“Trying to use Covid for this Scam!” Trump wrote.
Newsom has admitted that absentee voting isn’t ideal, but said he would “continue to work with the Legislature and the Secretary of State to determine how requirements for in-person voting opportunities and other details of the November election will be implemented, while preserving public health and giving county elections officials needed flexibility.”