On Wednesday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin argued that President Donald Trump has sabotaged his long-running conspiracy theory about mail-in voting being an invitation for widespread fraud, by admitting that his own state of Florida is perfectly competent at voting by mail.
“President Trump’s attack on voting by mail — a practice in effect since the Civil War, and used exclusively by some states and widely by others with virtually no sign of fraud — has been a transparent attempt to discredit an election he looks likely to lose,” wrote Rubin. And because his conspiracy theories have caused GOP applications for absentee ballots to plunge, “this has set off alarm bells among Republican operatives in Florida, where many if not most voters in the mammoth elderly population will not go to the polls in person. What if they do not vote at all?”
With his tweet urging Floridians to vote by mail, wrote Rubin, “Trump said the quiet part out loud: There is no significant difference between absentee voting and voting by mail.”
“Trump, once again, has effectively debunked his own cynical ploy to undermine elections,” she continued. “What is safe in Florida is safe in other states. ‘There is nothing different about Florida mail balloting compared to other states. It is no more safe than elsewhere,’ says Darrell M. West, vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution. ‘If Trump likes mail ballots in Florida, he should like them everywhere.’ In short, it is long past time for Trump to recognize there is no way to avoid voters’ likely harsh verdict.”
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