As the president and his party sow seeds of doubt over this November’s election results, they make two claims.
One: Absentee ballots will lead to rampant fraud; Trump may believe this, but in America voter fraud has proven almost non-existent.
Two: Absentee ballots favor Democrats; yet historically, mail-in voting has supported no one party.
The president wants to control who votes in the general election, and how. The implied threat — his party will contest election results if they lose — smacks of voter intimidation.
For decades minorities suffered bullying to discourage their vote. When enforcement of federal law stopped this, targeting at the polls took new forms: remapping districts, changing the rules about acceptable voter identification, and reducing poll sites and equipment.
Such tactics result in long lines and long waits and are properly termed “suppression.” Trump is afraid because absentee ballots, on the other hand, allow voting without interference or exposure to disease.
Voting rights underpin our democracy. We must be able to vote unimpeded and without risking our health.