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Trump campaign fighting to make it harder for Democrats to vote by mail

August 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Behind President Donald Trump's rhetoric railing against the expansion of vote-by-mail efforts ahead of the fall, his team is fighting to preserve the aspects of mail-in voting that they hope will offer Trump a strategic advantage.

That has included a push in various states for policies such as enhanced signature matching, requirements for people to file an application before they receive a ballot and limits to when and where mail-in ballots will be counted -- things election experts have said could lead to fewer votes being counted from groups that skew Democratic.

And the worry over Trump's fight against mail-in voting extends beyond the presidential election; multiple Republican sources stressed how this could negatively affect down-ballot GOP candidates as well.

The Trump campaign pointed to Democrats, who they say have intervened in 18 states over mail-in voting laws, and argued they have simply stepped into those legal battles to defend "election integrity. "

"It is now the stated goal of Democrats to eliminate protections for election integrity, such as universally mailing a ballot to every registered voter, whether they asked for one or not," Murtaugh said in a statement to CNN.

In Pennsylvania -- a state that campaign officials are banking on winning, but believe will be very close -- the Trump campaign has sued the election boards of 67 counties over ways mail-in voting was conducted ahead of the June primary there, and it has demanded certain changes ahead of November, such as ending the practice of allowing voters to drop their ballots off at certified, unmonitored drop boxes in addition to traditional polling locations.

But an analysis by the Philadelphia Inquirer found that Pennsylvania voters who waited until three weeks or less before Election Day to apply for their ballots were less likely to get their ballot in than those who applied earlier; the analysis concluded 92,000 fewer votes were cast due to delays in processing applications, printing ballots and delivering mail.

On a website detailing their joint efforts, the RNC and Trump campaign notes: "Receiving ballots after election day allows losing candidates to 'go find' enough late votes to change the outcome.

A source close to the campaign argued that if mail-in voting is expanded, "people would be voting without being an informed voter," because in some places they could request and submit their ballot weeks before Election Day.

House Democrats included $3. 6 billion for election-related activities -- including the potential expansion of mail-in voting -- in the stimulus proposal they passed in May. The money would have been aimed at helping states shape their elections ahead of November so voters can safely cast their ballots amid the pandemic.

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