President Trump on Tuesday defended his voting by mail in Florida’s election last month but said the practice is too often subject to fraud and should be severely restricted.
“I think mail-in voting is horrible, it’s corrupt,” Mr. Trump said at a White House press briefing on the coronavirus.
Reporters asked Mr. Trump whether Wisconsin was violating social distancing guidelines on the coronavirus Tuesday by requiring voters to appear in person to cast their ballots. Mr. Trump pointed out that the governor, Tony Evers, is a Democrat.
“That’s his problem,” Mr. Trump said.
When a reporter noted that Mr. Trump voted by mail for Florida’s election last month, the president replied, “Because I’m allowed to. I happen to be in the White House, I won’t be able to go to Florida to vote.”
He said there is a “big difference” between an out-of-state voter like himself who “does a ballot and everything sealed, certified” and “thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody’s living room, signing ballots all over the place.”
“No, I think that mailing voting is a terrible thing,” Mr. Trump said. “I think if you vote, you should go [to the polls]. Even the concept of early voting is not the greatest, because a lot of things happen. I think you should go and you should vote.”
He said mail-in voting is subject to fraud.
“You look at what they do, where they grab thousands of mail-in ballots and they dump it,” he said. “I don’t have to tell you, you can look at the statistics. There’s a lot of dishonesty going along with mail-in voting, mail-in ballots.”
The liberal advocacy group Stand Up America said Mr. Trump “is demanding that voters choose between protecting their health and participating in our democracy.”
“Trump’s baseless attacks on vote by mail are a pathetic attempt to suppress the vote in the middle of a national crisis,” said the group’s president, Sean Eldridge. “Expanding access to the ballot through mail-in voting should not be a partisan issue, yet Trump and his cronies are trafficking in debunked conspiracy theories to undermine efforts to ensure every eligible voter can cast their ballot this fall.”