President Donald Trump can't stop tweeting about a vote-by-mail "scandal," he says, happened in New Jersey. But according to actual leaders in the state, Trump has no idea what he's talking about.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that the Paterson, N.J. story of a post office worker who had bundled 347 mail-in ballots that resulted in four men, including a city councilman, being charged with fraud.
"The episode probably would have remained a local dust-up but for the sudden interest of President Trump, who has spent the past several months attacking voting by mail as a practice he says is susceptible to massive fraud," reported the Post.
The 2020 Election will be totally rigged if Mail-In Voting is allowed to take place, & everyone knows it. So much t… https://t.co/ulD2VTrJPd— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1595796706.0
A few weeks ago, Trump told reporters to look into Paterson, "where massive percentages of the vote were a fraud." Unfortunately for Trump, reporters did precisely that, and the result has humiliated him for another example of how the president once again didn't fully read or understand the story.
"White House officials said the president has railed privately about the New Jersey city's election to his advisers," said the report. "And conservative groups have launched their own efforts to spotlight the problems in Paterson, including Judicial Watch and the Honest Elections Project, which is supported by attorney Leonard Leo, a close Trump ally."
"He's not telling the entire truth," said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh. "But then again, he's Donald Trump."
Sayegh was an opponent to those involved in the scandal.
Experts on the case noted that the "alleged scheme" in the city would be hard for anyone to replicate, particularly in a presidential race.
"They also challenged Trump's claim that all of the 3,274 ballots thrown out by election officials were potentially fraudulent — local leaders said many were rejected because of what they see as minor errors on the part of voters," reported the Post.
While the situation certainly illustrated the problems with mail-in ballots, it also showed that the people attempting to create a fraud were caught, and it didn't work.
"We're not saying vote-by-mail is inherently wrong or problematic," said Councilman William McKoy. He was "defeated" in May by Alex Mendez, who is implicated in the scandal and is being barred from taking office.
McKay's lawyer, Scott Salmon, explained that is an example of what could go wrong but that its chances are so slim it couldn't happen on a presidential scale.
There is at least one new Republican case involving voter fraud, where a Kansas Congressman illegally used a UPS Store box to vote by mail. A North Carolina Republican operative was hired to help with vote by mail and was caught in a huge voter fraud scheme for the state's GOP. Trump never mentions those.