- President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday that the US Postal Service does not have the funds to cope with increased mail-in votes.
- "They don't have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can't do it, I guess," Trump said of the agency.
- There are proposals to better fund the service, but they are being blocked by Republicans in Congress. Trump attacked Democrats for seeking more money for the USPS.
- Trump again claimed that mail-in votes are vulnerable to mass fraud, a concern election officials say is groundless.
- Democrats have alleged that the president is seeking to delegitimize an expected surge of mail-in ballots in a bid to retain power.
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President Donald Trump noted Wednesday that the US Postal Service does not have the money required to process mail-in votes for the presidential election — while also making clear that he opposes giving it more money.
"They don't have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can't do it, I guess," Trump said of the agency. "Are they going to do it even if they don't have the money?"
Several US states are seeking to expand mail-in voting amid the coronavirus crisis. An analysis by the New York Times on Wednesday found that 76% of Americans will be eligible to vote by mail in November, and predicted that the total number of mail-in votes for the upcoming presidential election could be twice that of 2016.
Democrats have proposed more funding for the USPS as part of a forthcoming stimulus package. But the stimulus is being blocked by congressional Republicans, who oppose parts of the package.
The president has for months been railing against mail-in votes, claiming they are exposed to voting fraud.
He has even floated delaying the election in a July tweet to ensure the election is not "rigged." He does not have the authority to do that, and quickly dropped the idea.
"It's going to be the greatest fraud in the history of elections," claimed the president Wednesday, attacking Democrats for seeking a funding boost to cope with the surge of mail-in votes.
"For example, they've asked for a ridiculous $3.5 billion, that's billion, $3.5 billion for universal mail-in voting, a system riddled by fraud and corruption."
Election officials and experts have said that overall voter fraud is very rare, even though it does occur slightly more frequently in postal voting.
Speaking to FactCheck.Org, the experts said there is no evidence to support the president's sweeping voter fraud allegations.
Some Republicans believe that increased mail-in voting disproportionately benefits Democrats, as it would help economically disadvantaged Americans who traditionally show up to vote in lower numbers. However, this assumption has been challenged in recent years, FiveThirtyEight reported in May.
Critics, including presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, are accusing Trump of an attempt to delegitimize thousands of ballots before they are even cast in a bid to cling to power if he loses in November.
Currently, Trump trails Biden in the polls.
Despite Trump on Wednesday admitting that the USPS doesn't have the funds to cope with increased postal votes, in Congress Republicans are continuing to block a coronavirus relief package that Democrats say needs to include increased funding for the Postal Service, reported NPR on Wednesday.
"The White House is not budging from their position concerning the size and scope of a legislative package," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.
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