The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Donald Trump on Monday claimed without proof that foreign countries would try to influence the 2020 elections by printing mail-in ballots, his latest lie in long list of attempts to delegitimize safer voting.


Trump's claim builds on remarks by Attorney General William Barr, who also pushed the false conspiracy theory earlier this month.Election experts say it's almost impossible for foreign countries to print counterfeit ballots.

"This would be a waste of paper," Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida who studies elections, tweeted. "The legally valid ones printed by election officials have many safeguards to protect against fraudulent voting."

Those safeguards include signature matching against voter records, which would make printing and mailing in counterfeit ballots nearly impossible, as well as things like mandatory notarization in some states.

Each of the nearly 175,000 voting precincts in the country also have their own unique ballots that contain different local elections and ballot questions, meaning foreign countries would have to perfectly replicate each one in order to successfully submit fraudulent ballots.

Voting by mail is popular in the United States. Trump, along with a number of members of his inner circle, have voted by mail in the past.

Both Democrats and Republicans have sought to increase the number of people voting by mail in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Increasing vote-by-mail would prevent voters from having to wait in lines and risk transmitting the virus to cast their ballot.

Trump is firmly against the idea. He has admitted that he doesn't support increased access to voting by mail because he feels it will make casting a ballot easier, and that more people voting will hurt his reelection chances.

There is no evidence that vote-by-mail benefits one party over another.

Democrats believe Trump's attack on mail-in voting is a sign he may not go quietly if he loses in November.

"It's my greatest concern, my single greatest concern: This president is going to steal this election," presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told The Daily Show host Trevor Noah on June 12.

"This is a guy who said all mail-in ballots are fraudulent, direct voting by mail, while he sits behind a desk in the Oval Office and writes his mail-in ballot to vote in the primary."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

The privilege of beholding the corals of Belize, the second largest reef system on earth, is a complete marvel that can never be taken for granted. The school of nine squid in perfect alignment that stared at us like transparent sentinels ,the green barracuda that floated as if in suspended animation, looking for prey. Those moments of utter awe were soul transformative not only for a child, but also for parents nurturing a young human to the ultimate reason to exist on this earth, to care for life.

Over the next few years, a battle was waged between environmentalists and those who saw dollars in the form of oil extraction in the reef. Thankfully on December 1, 2015, right after the Cop21 Paris Climate Accord, Belize made the tremendous decision to ban drilling outright -- and is working hard to restore coral. The same cannot be said for many other fragile parts of the world particularly the warming Arctic, where Russia has a near stranglehold of more than half the Arctic Ocean.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

The saturation of the ranks of our police forces with far-right extremists is one of the harsh realities of American life that bubbled up during the police brutality protests of 2020 and was laid bare by the January 6 insurrection. The presence of these extremists not only is a serious security and enforcement threat—particularly when it comes to dealing with far-right violence—but has created a toxic breach between our communities and the people they hire to protect and serve them. Too often, as in Portland, the resulting police culture has bred a hostility to their communities that expresses itself in biased enforcement and a stubborn unaccountability.

Much of this originates in police training, which are the foundations of cop culture. And a recent Reuters investigative report has found that police training in America is riddled with extremists: Their survey of police training firms—35 in all—that provide training to American police authorities found five of them employ (and in some cases, are operated by) men whose politics are unmistakably of the far-right extremist variety. And these five people alone are responsible for training hundreds of American cops every year.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}