Against all evidence, President Donald Trump erroneously believes that widespread voter fraud is influencing elections across the United States. After the 2016 election, when he lost the popular vote by a larger margin than any electoral college winner in history, Trump claimed that millions of ballots were fraudulently cast.
With the pandemic that's killed over 90 thousand Americans forcing numerous states to reevaluate how to go about holding primary elections, Trump and his Republican allies are scrambling to discourage absentee voting, or vote by mail, expansion.
Trump continued that effort this Wednesday by railing against expanded voting measures in Nevada and Michigan, claiming that the actions of their secretaries of state were illegal and threatening to withhold funding from them.
Now, a Republican organization in South Carolina is discouraging vote by mail efforts as well—but the messaging is mixed.
OMG. This mailer making its way around South Carolina was just passed along to me https://t.co/XLzZPM342n— Sam Stein (@Sam Stein) 1589997022.0
The top of the flyer reads:
"I will NEVER support universal vote-by-mail."
Immediately below, it reads:
"Sometimes conservatives have a legitimate reason to vote absentee."
It then proceeds to instruct the recipient how to vote remotely.
The position of most Republicans, including Trump, is that absentee voting for a reason is acceptable—but that the viral pathogen isn't enough of a reason to give voters a choice between waiting in line with large crowds or securely casting their ballot remotely.
Nevertheless, South Carolina's Republican governor, Henry McMaster, signed legislation that will allow any South Carolina voter to cast their ballot by mail in the state's June 2020 elections.
People mocked the discordant message of the flyer.
@samstein Bless all four chambers of their heart.— Ms. M (@Ms. M) 1590003389.0
@samstein cognitive dissonance on steroids— c lewis silberman (@c lewis silberman) 1590011339.0
@samstein Hypocrisy in print!— PCS901 (@PCS901) 1589997785.0
@samstein “We cannot have vote-by-mail!!!!!!!” “Now, let me explain how you can vote-by-transporting-your-ballot-v… https://t.co/RInLqdC413— Attorney@Law (@Attorney@Law) 1589997726.0
It wasn't lost upon anyone that the organization is fine with certain people voting absentee.
@samstein So the implication is only republicans have legitimate reasons to vote absentee. The truth is the GOP thi… https://t.co/MyGF3ewLL0— Jeanette Wash Your Hands and Read the Report 🆘 (@Jeanette Wash Your Hands and Read the Report 🆘) 1589997477.0
@samstein "Sometimes conservatives have legitimate reasons to vote absentee." When they say the quiet part out loud...— Spatch1003 (@Spatch1003) 1589997328.0
@samstein I don't see a contradiction here. They don't support universal vote by mail - they only want it for white voters.— 167 days until Nov 3🗽 (@167 days until Nov 3🗽) 1589997244.0
Do better, people.
For more information about the politics behind voter suppression, check out Uncounted, available here.