House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday accused President Donald Trump of attempting to suppress voter turnout in November’s presidential election when he suggested the country consider postponing the vote because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The California Democrat’s comments to CNN came a day after Trump posted to Twitter that mail-in voting – promoted by Democrats as an alternative to traditional voting to avoid crowded polling locations – would encourage fraud.
“The reason he does it is because the more people hear something like that, the more they’re discouraged to vote,” Pelosi said during an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “It’s a way to suppress the vote.”
Trump has vehemently opposed expanding vote-by-mail, citing election fraud concerns. Many states are working to expand mail-in voting, which involves sending every registered voter a ballot. Critics have claimed that it allows for “ballot harvesting.”
New York Rep. Peter King was one of several Republicans who dismissed the idea of postponing the election, saying it was a “mistake” to suggest it, a sentiment echoed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
An NBC News poll taken in April said 40 percent of voters thought the idea of delaying the election until the outbreak was under control was warranted.
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