The Michigan governor released a statement Thursday morning denouncing President Trump’s suggestion that the November 2020 election should be postponed due to his mistrust of mail-in voting.
More American voters than ever are expected to participate in mail-in absentee voting this election season amid the coronavirus pandemic. In Michigan, nearly 2 million absentee ballots had been issued as of Tuesday, 3.6 times the 546,000 that were issued at the same point in 2016. About 903,000 had been returned, a nearly threefold increase from four years ago, according to the the Secretary of State’s office.
However, President Trump has repeatedly made claims that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud.
Trump tweeted Thursday: “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
Gov. Whitmer responded:
“It’s clear that the president is more focused on his chances in the 2020 election than on protecting families from a virus that has killed more than 150,000 Americans,” reads a statement from Whitmer. “The truth is that mail-in absentee voting is safe, simple, and patriotic – so much so that the president and more than a dozen of his closest advisors have done it. If we could hold an election in 1864 in the midst of a Civil War threatening to tear our country apart, we can and will hold one in 2020. It’s time for the president to get his priorities straight and work with Congress on a bipartisan recovery package that protects our families, frontline workers, and small business owners.”
Michigan has a primary election on Aug. 4, then the general election on Nov. 3. The Secretary of State said absentee voting is on the rise following the approval of no-reason absentee voting in 2018 and is being emphasized as a safer option than in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Read back (November 2018): Michigan voters approve proposal to expand absentee voting, voter registration