DENVER (CBS4) — On Thursday, President Donald Trump said he opposes efforts to increase funding for the U.S. Postal Service because the money would be used to facilitate mail-in voting for November’s elections. Colorado’s Secretary of State Jena Griswold said the move amounts to voter suppression.
“The President stated that he’s withholding U.S. Postal Service funding to prevent vote by mail. This is voter suppression,” Griswold stated. “It’s voter suppression to undermine the safest method to vote during a pandemic, and force Americans to risk their lives to vote.”
The coronavirus pandemic has raised concerns about voters congregating in polling places — but Pres. Trump has said mail-in voting will result in “the greatest fraud in the history of elections.”
In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, Pres. Trump criticized a coronavirus relief bill in May, which would provide $25 billion for the USPS and $3.5 billion in election assistance to states.
“They want three and a half billion dollars for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent, that’s election money basically. They want three and a half billion dollars for the mail-in votes. Universal mail-in ballots. They want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to make the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”
“If they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail in voting because they’re not equipped to have it,” Trump said.
Dick Wadhams is a former Colorado Republican Party Chairman.
“What I worry about is not the potential of fraud committed by a campaign or campaigns, but just the chaos that could ensue if states have never done this before,” Wadhams said.
According to CBS News, recentto the Postal Service have severely delayed mail delivery and raised concerns about how the service will handle the influx of mail-in ballots. Delays in mail delivery could mean that voters do not receive their absentee ballots in time to vote, or that their returned ballots may be returned past the deadline.
CBS4 asked the US Postal Service if it will be able to handle mail-in ballots and received a statement saying election mail will only account for 2% of its volume and it can do it securely and on time.
Colorado’s ballots are set to go out about three weeks before the November election. Some will send them back, but many are expected to drop them off. Most ballots mailed out come back in drop boxes — about 75% go into the some 350 such boxes around the state.
Even in this year of the virus, voting in person will still be an option.