House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump and Republicans in Congress of seeking to suppress voting out of fear of a fair verdict while defending the Democratic party’s efforts to expand mail-in balloting amid the coronavirus epidemic on Thursday.
“We have a different value system about what voting means to democracy,” Pelosi stated in a call with reporters. “Clearly, we want to remove all obstacles to participation.”
Democrats had been seeking the inclusion of billions of dollars in recent emergency relief bills to facilitate states in expanding by-mail balloting amid fears that voting in person will worsen the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump and GOP lawmakers have slammed the Democratic proposals, calling the idea a politically motivated power-grab.
Even though President Trump cast his own ballot via mail for Florida’s March 17 primary. He has warned that the system is “corrupt” and invites widespread fraud.
“They grab thousands of mail-in ballots and they dump it,” he told reporters, accusing Democrats of using the coronavirus crisis to expand a vote-by-mail mechanism that he says “doesn’t work out for Republicans.”
“The things they had in there were crazy,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” last week, three days after he’d signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. “They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”
“The president says that he thinks that if we had vote-by-mail no Republican will ever get elected. Well, have more confidence in what the Republican Party stands for,” she said.
“It had been a Grand Old Party. It had been hijacked, I know,” she continued. “But nonetheless … Republicans know how to vote by mail. So he shouldn’t belittle the ability of Republicans to make their voices heard for the candidates they support, and not be afraid of the voice of the people. But they are. And that’s one of the reasons they want to stand in the way of a more open democratic system at a time of a pandemic.”