The Trumps continue to push the lie that illegal votes were possibly if not most definitely cast on some widespread scale during the recently concluded presidential election. There is no evidence for these bombastic claims of widespread election fraud that the president and his allies have pushed — although during a Fox News appearance on Sunday morning, top Trump ally Rudy Giuliani nevertheless made the laughably unhinged claim that hundreds of thousands of votes are “completely invalid.” On Sunday, First Lady Melania Trump herself joined the fray and tweeted that only legal votes should count — as if there’s any evidence of any kind of widespread illegal voting. There’s no such evidence, and Melania’s underlying premise that there’s potentially system-threatening illegal voting going on is completely false.
Melania shared the following message:
‘The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.’
The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal – not illegal – vote should be counted. We must protect our democracy with complete transparency.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 8, 2020
Not only is the premise that there’s a widespread threat of illegal voting unequivocally false, but so is the idea that American elections are currently suffering from a lack of transparency. During this presidential race, some ballot-processing procedures have literally been livestreamed in the name of that transparency that Melania is supposedly after. The president and his allies have claimed that Republican observers have gotten systematically shut out of watching the ballot-counting process, but this claim is false. In one particular example, Trump lawyers admitted under pressure in a Pennsylvania court case that their side actually had some observation access, despite their claims of getting completely shut out of the process.
If Melania really is concerned with ensuring that every legal vote gets counted, then she should confer with her husband — Donald has already repeatedly declared victory, despite the ongoing ballot tabulation processes around the country. He doesn’t get to just barge into the process and proclaim that certain votes are valid and others aren’t. Donald Trump is not the arbiter of democracy. Trump has claimed that votes in Pennsylvania were “illegally” received after Election Day — but in that state, as elsewhere, mail-in ballots are valid if they were received shortly after Election Day but submitted before Election Day drew to a close. Thus, there’s no illegality here — state law literally allows for these ballots, and the provisions help ensure that far-flung voters get their voices heard. Trump can’t just throw out state laws because he feels like it.
Check out Twitter’s response to Melania’s dubious message below: