California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order for state counties to send out vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters for the November 3 general election, to ensure people feel they have access to safe voting amid the pandemic. (May 8)
WASHINGTON – White House adviser Kellyanne Conway compared voting in person to standing in line at Georgetown Cupcake, echoing President Donald Trump’s public condemnations against widespread mail-in voting, which many have called for due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“People are very proud to show up and go to the polls,” Conway told reporters Wednesday, “they wait in line at Georgetown Cupcake for an hour to get a cupcake. So I think they can probably wait in line to do something as constitutionally significant as cast their ballot.”
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The reason many states have rallied behind the idea of mail-in voting is because the coronavirus potentially poses health concerns for the November election and in-person voting.
Conway stated that it was wrong to “presume five months before that people predominately or exclusively are only going to want and be able to vote by mail.”
Furthermore, Conway’s assertion that people have been standing in line at Georgetown Cupcake during the pandemic is incorrect. There have been no lines for infamous DC spot since the beginning of the pandemic caused restaurants and businesses to shutter their doors, including Georgetown Cupcake.
“Please note that all Georgetown Cupcake retail stores are closed to the general public at this time. We are only offering delivery and overnight nationwide shipping during this period,” their website reads.
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Trump has lashed out at the idea of mail-in voting, calling ballots, without evidence, “fraudulent” while also predicting that “mail boxes will be robbed.”
Two of his tweets on the issue earned the president his first-ever fact check on Twitter, providing users of Trump’s favorite social media site a page with news articles that reads: “Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to ‘a Rigged Election.’ However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud.”
Mailing absentee ballot request forms to all voters has been widely used in other states, helmed by Republicans and Democrats alike, in recent weeks. It has become a more pressing issue before state primaries, 17 of which were delayed from this spring because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
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Thirty-four states and Washington, D.C., allowed absentee voting by mail without an excuse before the pandemic. That includes five states, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah and Hawaii that conduct their elections entirely by mail. California, where two-thirds of voters already voted by mail, will move to an all-mail system in November.
More than 50 people in Wisconsin after their state’s April 7 primary who said they voted in-person or worked the polls tested positive for COVID-19.
Contributing: Nicholas Wu, Joey Garrison
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