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‘No he doesn’t’: Experts shoot down Trump claims that he has authority to stop mail-in voting with an executive order

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Donald Trump (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

“This is just about him trying to set up a situation to sow seeds of confusion and fear so that if he loses in November, he can try to delegitimize a completely valid election.”

President Donald Trump ramped up his baseless attacks on mail-in voting late Monday by threatening to issue an executive order curbing the practice ahead of the November elections, a move rights groups and experts said would be a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution.

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“I have the right to do it,” Trump said during a Covid-19 press briefing Monday evening. “We haven’t gotten there yet, but we’ll see what happens.”

“No, he doesn’t,” responded attorney Daniel Jacobson. “As the Supreme Court has explained: ‘the Framers of the Constitution intended the States to keep for themselves, as provided in the Tenth Amendment, the power to regulate elections.'”

Steve Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin, also weighed in:

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The president’s remarks came just hours after he called the Nevada legislature’s expansion of mail-in ballot access “an illegal late night coup” that would make it “impossible” for Republicans to win the state.

During his press briefing Monday, Trump fired off a barrage of lies about Nevada’s efforts to provide a safe alternative to in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic and said his administration “will be suing” the state. Trump also continued to make a false distinction between absentee voting—which he claims to support—and vote-by-mail.

“You have to look at what they’ve done,” the president said, referring to Nevada. “You can have two ballots, you can harvest—it’s harvesting. So you can take thousands of ballots, put them together, and just dump them down on somebody’s desk after a certain period of time.”

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Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said in an appearance on MSNBC late Monday that any effort by Trump to stop state expansions of vote-by-mail through executive action would be “shot down in court.”

“This is just about him trying to set up a situation to sow seeds of confusion and fear so that if he loses in November, he can try to delegitimize a completely valid election,” said Gupta.

Trump went on to say the U.S. Postal Service won’t be able to handle the unprecedented surge of mail-in ballots—a claim the USPS contradicted in a statement Monday night.

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“The Postal Service has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the agency said.

As Common Dreams reported last week, postal workers and voting rights advocates are growing increasingly concerned that policies implemented at USPS in recent days by Republican Postmaster General Louis DeJoy—a major Trump donor—could threaten the Postal Service’s ability to deliver mail-in ballots on time in November.

“Trump’s assault on the Post Office follows the playbook the gop has used for decades,” Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) tweeted Monday. “Deliberately sabotage an institution and then claim it’s broken and must be destroyed.”

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2020 Election

‘Chaos and confusion’: Election head in solid GOP state bashes Trump for ‘undermining’ their mail-in voting efforts

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Donald Trump's attempts to cast doubt on the result of the 2020 presidential election -- which appears to not be going his way -- is causing headaches and grief in Utah where voters who have overwhelmingly voted by mail are now in a panic over whether their votes will be counted.

According to a report from Washington Post, Weber County -- a rock-ribbed Republican district of 260,000 -- began using mail-in voting in 2013 with no complaints. In fact, according to the report, 'more than 99 percent of ballots cast in the [2020] primary were placed in the mail or deposited in a dropbox."

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2020 Election

Republicans have more to gain from losing the election — and they know it: Columnist

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On Saturday, writing for The Week, Matthew Walther argued that Congressional Republicans' recent behavior shows they have made peace with losing the election — that, indeed, they are looking forward to it, and have mapped out what they will do next as the party out of power.

"Faced with the possibility of losing both the White House and possibly even the Senate in a year in which Democrats are also expected to consolidate control of the House as well, Republicans have resigned themselves to a half decade or so of opposition," wrote Walther. "Many of them are relieved at the thought of not even having to pretend to govern as members of a minority party — better yet, in the case of those who expect to lose their seats, at the not very remote possibility of a well-remunerated position with a lobbying or consulting firm."

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2020 Election

Investigation reveals just how dangerous Trump’s rallies are for public health

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An investigation into the latest accelerated spread of coronavirus in multiple states appears to be linked to President Donald Trump's string of campaign rallies over the last several weeks.

As coronavirus plagues states all across America, Trump continues to blatantly disregard how dangerous his campaign rallies are for his campaign staff, White House advisors and aides, and everyone who attends his political events. Now, USA Today has explained the extent of the spreads in several counties following the president's rallies.

According to the analysis released by USA Today, case rates in at least five counties—Blue Earth, Minnesota; Lackawanna, Pennsylvania; Marathon, Wisconsin; Dauphin, Pennsylvania; and Beltrami, Minnesota—increased at a faster pace after Trump's rallies. Collectively, these counties reported 1,500 additional new cases in the two weeks after Trump's campaign rallies. The previous number of 8,069 jumped to 9,647 cases.

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