President Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked the swing state of Michigan for sending out mail-in ballot applications for elections in 2020, ignoring a series of Republican states which have done the exact same thing to help people vote during the Coronavirus outbreak.
"Trump is spreading lies about voting (again)," said Marc Elias, a top Democratic Party election lawyer.
“Donald Trump is exploiting a pandemic to suppress Americans' votes in November,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), whose state votes entirely by mail.
On Twitter, the President first incorrectly accused the state of Michigan of sending out mail-in ballots to all registered voters; instead, the state has sent absentee ballot applications, just like a series of other GOP states.
Michigan Secretary of State went on Twitter to respond to the President's criticism, saying she's following the lead of others in sending out applications for mail-in ballots.
"Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia," Jocelyn Benson said.
"@RealDonaldTrump 's revenge politics is petty & pathetic," said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI).
In his Twitter shots at Michigan and Nevada, the President threatened to withhold federal funding for those states, if they went ahead with their mail-in balloting plans.
"State of Nevada “thinks” that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S.," the President tweeted "They can’t! If they do, “I think” I can hold up funds to the State."
While Nevada has a Democratic Governor, the Republican Secretary of State opted for a full mail-in ballot primary election.
The President made no threats on Wednesday to withhold federal funding from Republican-controlled states which have send out absentee ballot applications to all registered voters, like Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska, and West Virginia.
NEW: The president erroneously tweeted that Michigan is sending absentee ballots to all registered voters. The state is actually sending applications for absentee ballots.https://t.co/yz2qXJP3XV— WXYZ Detroit (@wxyzdetroit) May 20, 2020
Breaking: Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2020
The attacks on mail-in ballots are part of the President's broader accusation that mail-in voting is rife with fraud, a charge which is not backed up by evidence from states which conduct mail-in elections.
Mr. Trump voted in Florida's primary this year by using a mail-in absentee ballot.
"Trump is falsely calling vote by mail fraud - even though he votes by mail," said Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA).
The President's criticism of Nevada drew an especially sharp response from two Democratic lawmakers in Congress.
Trump is threatening to harm Nevadans because our Republican Secretary of State is making it easier for them to vote. The President doesn’t care about the Constitution or apparently Nevadans' safety. He'll do anything to distract the public from his incompetent COVID-19 response.— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) May 20, 2020
.@realDonaldTrump, perhaps you’ve moved on to bleach and it’s even further impairing your judgment. It’s clear Nevada is doing the right thing and your threat to withhold federal support, especially during a pandemic, is outrageous. https://t.co/tLU1c7kQOY— CatherineCortezMasto (@CatherineForNV) May 20, 2020
“Trump is threatening to harm Nevadans because our Republican Secretary of State is making it easier for them to vote,” said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). “He'll do anything to distract the public from his incompetent COVID-19 response.”