Washington, D.C.— One day after Donald Trump's latest baseless threats and claims about voting by mail, which he claimed during a presidential debate would lead to widespread fraud, People For the American Way's Right Wing Watch project is releasing a new report highlighting Trump's hypocrisy on this issue. The report by Bob Moser, titled "The Propaganda War Against Voting by Mail," also details the efforts of heavily financed far-right groups that are combining legal challenges with propaganda aimed at undermining remote voting this November.
"Donald Trump is making totally false claims that voting by mail will lead to a fraudulent election, while at the same time his campaign is promoting it to his supporters -- and he's voting by mail himself," said Ben Jealous, President of People For the American Way. "Voters this spring received robo-calls from the Trump campaign urging them to vote safely by mail. Trump is trying to have it both ways, and he's willing to do or say anything if he thinks it will either win the election or cast doubt on the results if he doesn't."
"An entire right-wing industry has gown up around voter suppression, and the attacks on voting by mail are just part of it," said Adele Stan, director of the Right Wing Watch program. "Tens of millions of dollars are being spent, which makes the efforts this year the biggest coordinated effort to suppress votes that we have ever seen. It's critically important that people understand the forces at work and also understand that this is not the year to skip voting."
Among other things, the report notes:
Major actors on the right working to suppress voting, via tactics encompassing lawsuits and propaganda, include Judicial Watch, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, True the Vote, and the Judicial Education Project, which is heavily funded by the Kochs and the DeVos family.
Ahead of the 2018 midterms, tactics employed by these groups included hundreds of letters sent to state and local officials, threatening lawsuits if they did not undertake massive, aggressive "purges" of voter rolls.
Despite Trump's claims that voting by mail leads to fraud, both his son Donald Jr. and daughter-in-law Lara Trump recorded robocalls in April urging mail votes for a Republican congressional candidate in a special election.
Right-wing propaganda about chaos and fraud at the polls is having an impact: In August, a Pew poll found that nearly half of registered U.S. voters expect to “have difficulties casting a ballot” this year.
About People For the American Way
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org