Trump tries to blackmail Michigan and Nevada to abandon vote-by-mail

A lookup photograph of Donald Trump speaking in a rage.

Flickr / Marvin Moose

Today is a new day which means Donald Trump is lying and threatening again. King Donald’s latest outburst informs states that are sending absentee ballot applications to their citizens that if they encourage vote-by-mail, then the impeached president will cut off their federal funding…in other words, blackmail.

“Breaking: Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!” — Donald J. Trump

Let’s break it all down with some FAQs.

Did he learn nothing from Ukraine?

Susan Collins on Fox News


No, Susan Collins. He’s learned nothing from anything. In fact, the only thing he’s learned is that he can get away with everything.

Trump even cc’d the Treasury Department in his tweet-threat! Because y’ know… he loves subtlety.

Impeachment prophesy

Old news footage of Mitch McConnell


At the impeachment trial, an expert witness, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, tossed out a theoretical scenario of Trump threatening a state besieged by a natural disaster.

“What would we think if Trump dangled federal disaster aid as leverage to force a governor to do his political bidding? Wouldn’t you know in your gut that the president had abused his office? That he betrayed the national interest?”

Isn’t blackmail illegal?

Crime scene tape


Sure is. That’s why nobody lists “extortion” on his or her LinkedIn skills.

“The federal government does not have the power to withhold funding from states because the president disagrees with something the states are doing. There’s no legal mechanism by which he can do that.” — Stephen Vladeck, law professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Isn’t his tweet wrong, anyway?

Side by side photo of Melania Trump and a model wearing the "I really don't care do u?" jacket


Yep. For a variety of reasons.

  1. It was not “done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State.” This was completely legal, the same process as many right-leaning states such as Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, and West Virginia have done. Oh, and the Secretary of State DID authorize it.
  2. There were exactly zero absentee ballots mailed. There were, however, applications for absentee ballots. So Trump was only off by 7.7 million. Close enough, right?

Didn’t vote-by-mail just help the Republicans THIS MONTH?!?!

Close up photo of a mailbox


Yes again. Last week the GOP flipped Katie Hill’s House seat in California largely due to mail-in votes because most people don’t want to risk death waiting in line to vote during a pandemic.

What about voter fraud?

HVAC pipe with a "Fraud" sticker on it

Flickr / Michele Hubacek

What about it? In the 2016 election, in which over 135,000,000 votes were cast, there were four cases of fraud. Four. Spoiler alert: it didn’t tip the election.

In Washington State, where everyone votes by mail, the rate of voter fraud in 2018 was a whopping .004%.

You had mentioned Nevada earlier. What did Trump do there?

Skyline photo of the Vegas strip


Sorry. Forgot. Here you go:

Damn. None of this is very good! What can I do?

People wearing masks waiting in line to vote

Screenshot / YouTube

Vote like your life depends on it! Because it does.

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