President Donald Trump appears immensely paranoid about the possibility of Americans voting. That’s not an exaggeration — this week, he rushed to Twitter with completely baseless conspiracy theories about supposed rampant voter fraud looming in states like Michigan and Nevada, which have ramped up their vote-by-mail options amidst Coronavirus-induced concerns about the safety of in-person voting. Trump’s claims about rampant fraud in vote-by-mail systems have no supporting evidence whatsoever, and after he belted out the conspiracy theory about Michigan anyway, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) spoke out to put the president in his place.
Trump, it turns out, got some basic facts wrong in his anti-Michigan rant. He claimed that the state sent out millions of absentee ballots as part of some kind of plot to tilt the election to the Democrats. There’s no plot, and they didn’t send out ballots — they sent out applications that residents can fill out if they’d like to get an absentee ballot in the future. There’s a difference.
‘Hi! I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia.’
Hi! 👋🏼 I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia. https://t.co/kBsu4nHvOy
— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) May 20, 2020
Every one of the states that she mentions have Republicans as their Secretaries of State — although party affiliation does not appear to spark the president wavering in his delusionally paranoid conspiracy theories, because this Wednesday, he also ranted against Nevada over their vote-by-mail plans. Nevada has a Republican Secretary of State — and, either way, just to be clear: there is no evidence for the president’s claims that there is some kind of widespread fraud inherent in voting by mail. Many states already do it. Trump’s fraud claims are as unhinged as his past claims about millions of illegal votes that supposedly got cast in 2016.
Benson has separately commented:
‘By mailing applications, we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote. Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in Michigan has the right to do it.’
Check out Twitter’s response below:
Trump lies just as he breathes. Spins a scandal that doesn't exist. Where would he be without pretend issues he then pretends to solve. Rinse, repeat. This is #TheLaundryAdminstration. https://t.co/wd2gjeF0bX
— Jenna Grandi (@SaltyBeach) May 20, 2020
This morbidly obese Olaf stay losing https://t.co/TqPOHZPPGJ
— Eric Berry (@Thelifeoferic) May 20, 2020
Breaking: Rogue Secretary of State is just doing her job. Meanwhile flooding in Michigan is driving people from their homes. We need help and support from the President @realDonaldTrump, not threats and harassment. #MichiganStrong https://t.co/SXy44ZxIXg
— Fr. Mark Mossa, S.J. (@MarkMossaSJ) May 20, 2020
Didn't I read something about Twitter doing something about misinformation? https://t.co/53SF5rcC27 https://t.co/lRPMtTNQR4
— Lawrence Lanahan (@llanahan) May 20, 2020
So many good women in Michigan.
It’s kind of like the total package; makes the President’s head spin AND looks great on a shirt!#istandwiththatwomanfrommichigan #bothofthem #thosemichiganwomen #thankyougovernorwhitmer #thankyoujocelynbenson https://t.co/lD64VbUYDi
— 🥊 kristin 🗽🦷 Stay Home, Stay Safe (@kristinyourface) May 20, 2020
I love the women in power in my state. https://t.co/hVT2SJyYFs
— Brian Ambrozy (@primesuspect) May 20, 2020
Hey Trump!! Finding a way for more ELIGIBLE voters is what a democracy SHOULD be doing. Only someone who lost the popular election and fears people voting as the polls show they will will obstruct. https://t.co/T5D5hYVkud https://t.co/yTsZ9bTWct
— Jeff Stoltman (@jeffstoltman) May 20, 2020
You will recall that Trump can't seem to call the governor of Michigan by name either (it's @gretchenwhitmer) #mepolitics https://t.co/mHraeTDKjZ
— Gerald Weinand (@DirigoBlue) May 20, 2020
I ❤️ my Rogue Secretary of State and That Woman from Michigan #MichiganStrong https://t.co/oabXyiJc9P
— Annette Wannamaker (@childlitprof) May 20, 2020
Just the president of the United States lying about and threatening state leaders trying to help their residents vote https://t.co/Ah94ofGRaO
— Peter Montgomery (@petemont) May 20, 2020