The New York Times is so intent on contradicting President Donald Trump that it will oppose anything he says — even if it means contradicting its own reporting.
This time, the subject of the paper’s derision is Trump’s opposition to Democrats’ push for national mail-in voting, which is currently being considered since many parts of the U.S. are virtually locked down in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a report on Saturday, The Times accused Trump of pushing a “false argument” against voting-by-mail, even though his point was about the potential for fraud — a fact which The New York Times itself reported in the past.
While it may be debatable whether fraud cuts for either side of the aisle, Trump’s objection to mail-in voting for the 2020 presidential election is logical.
“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting,” Trump warned in a tweet. “Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”
Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans. @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2020
A Times piece in October 2012, aptly titled “Error and Fraud at Issue as Absentee Voting Rises” and published just before the re-election of former President Barack Obama, raised the same objection.
The author, Adam Liptak, asserted at the time that “votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show.”
In fact, Liptak made the same point Trump did.
“On the most basic level,” he wrote, “absentee voting replaces the oversight that exists at polling places with something akin to an honor system.”
Liptak’s piece also pointed out that absentee voting situations are vulnerable to fraud in situations such as nursing homes, where voters “can be subjected to subtle pressure, outright intimidation or fraud.”
The story even quotes Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt, who concluded that additional absentee voters are using a system where “fraud and coercion have been documented to be real and legitimate concerns.”
The 2020 piece that argued against Trump’s point about fraudulent voting also conceded that voting by mail is more vulnerable to fraud but is “rare,” and mostly dismissed the problem with a quote from expert Charles Stewart III of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“What we know can be boiled down to this: Voting fraud in the United States is rare, less rare is fraud using mail ballots,” Stewart told The Times.
Many states already have vote-by-mail in some form, whether by absentee ballots for those who request them or by statewide mail-in voting in which all registered voters receive and cast ballots through their postal deliveries.
Democrats have proposed new legislation that would essentially allow mail-in votes nationally, forcing absentee voting to be permitted in all 50 states and loosening requirements.
Former first lady Michelle Obama recently expressed her approval for such a voting model, using her “When We All Vote” organization, which encourages voter turnout and describes itself as nonpartisan, to garner support for the movement.
“No American should have to choose between making their voice heard and staying safe.” she tweeted. “Expanding access to #VoteByMail, online voter registration and early voting are critical steps for this moment — they’re also long overdue.”
No American should have to choose between making their voice heard and staying safe. Expanding access to #VoteByMail, online voter registration and early voting are critical steps for this moment—they’re also long overdue. https://t.co/s0KZ2Pj6zw
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) April 13, 2020
Obama co-chairs the organization with celebrities such as country music star Faith Hill, actress Selena Gomez, actor Tom Hanks, stage and film star Lin-Manuel Miranda and others.
Despite certain leftists pushing for it, mail-in voting may still be necessary in the case of the coronavirus pandemic. It may be impractical to implement on the fly, however, and opposition on the grounds of the possibility of voter fraud is legitimate.
The New York Times would do well to formulate its argument on the actual facts, rather than on the simple fact that Trump said them.
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