- Ellen Weintraub, a commissioner in the Federal Election Commission, debunked President Donald Trump’s claim that expanding mail-voting will lead to widespread fraud.
- “There’s simply no basis for the conspiracy theory that voting by mail causes fraud. None,” said Weintraub in a 66-post Twitter thread.
- In the thread, she links to numerous news reports debunking the claim, and citing Republicans who support mail-voting measures.
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Ellen Weintraub, a member of the Federal Election Commission, extensively debunked President Donald Trump’s claim that introducing mail-voting would lead to widespread voter fraud.
“True leaders speak truth,” she wrote in a 66-tweet thread correcting Trump.
“Especially in an election season plagued by pandemic, economic uncertainty, and death, the American people deserve nothing less than the truth from our leaders.”
Weintraub, a Democrat, is one of four commissioners on the FEC and was appointed by President George W. Bush. There are meant to be six commissioners, but two positions are vacant. Its job is to enforce campaign finance law.
In another message she wrote: “There’s simply no basis for the conspiracy theory that voting by mail causes fraud. None.”
There's simply no basis for the conspiracy theory that voting by mail causes fraud. None.@CNN & @washingtonpost fact-checks show this. But many others have examined the issue and arrived at the same conclusion. Still others have provided some key context. Take a look!
— Ellen L. Weintraub (@EllenLWeintraub) May 28, 2020
Trump’s claims about mail-voting have this week become the centre of an escalating dispute between the president and Twitter.
The president has responded by preparing an executive order erasing protections from social media platforms being held legally responsible for content on their platforms, which is expected to result in a protracted legal battle.
On Tuesday the platform labelled one of Trump’s tweets about mail-voting with a fact-check tag – the first time it had taken such action against Trump.
In the tweet thread, Weintraub sats that mail-voting allowed Americans to cast their ballot safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
“In the face of a global health emergency, election officials across the country from both parties are working heroically to ensure that voting by mail is accurate, accessible, safe & secure,” she wrote.
She went on to cite the fact-check articles Twitter had referred users to, debunking Trump’s claim, along with references to more sources, including conservative-leaning Fox News and election officials.
In some messages she points out that mail-voting measures are widely used in deeply conservative Utah, and have the backing of top GOP officials at both a state and national level – and are even backed by Trump’s own reelection campaign.
“Voting by mail will not make the 2020 election substantially fraudulent or massively corrupt. There is no basis for that claim. None. Zero. Zip. Nada,” she writes.
“Such falsehoods are not mere words. These falsehoods may well undermine the American people’s faith in our democracy,” she writes. “And the *real* fraud would be if U.S. citizens were deterred from voting and our government reflected the consent of fewer of the governed.”
Trump has long claimed that mail-voting favours progressives – claiming that if it was widely adopted “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
The president has long been accused of spreading fears of “voter fraud” to justify measures whose purpose is to drive down votes by disenfranchised groups deemed more likely to vote for Democrats.
Experts, in articles highlighted by Weintraub, say that there is no convincing data to indicate that mail-voting confers either side an advantage.