WASHINGTON (WR) — It was per week of relentless assaults by President Donald Trump and his allies on mail-in voting for the November election, and fact took a beating at each flip.

Fearing a pandemic-induced surge in such voting will work in opposition to him, Trump endured in arguing that fraud is rampant for mail-in ballots but fairly high-quality and protected for absentee votes, that are additionally mailed. There isn’t a useful distinction between the 2, and each have intensive verification programs.

He and his marketing campaign additionally tried to forged a brand new Nevada regulation as permitting ballots to be “showered” throughout the state to any dwelling particular person, no matter age or citizenship, who would have the flexibility to vote after Nov. three with out their identities ever verified. Every of these claims is off the mark.

In the meantime, on the coronavirus, Trump painted a far rosier image than his personal well being specialists on when a vaccine might grow to be obtainable. He asserted it may very well be prepared by Election Day.

He additionally falsely claimed as soon as extra that children are mainly immune from the illness, prompting rebukes from each Fb and Twitter for the misinformation.

A have a look at the rhetoric and the truth:


TRUMP: “You have a look at among the corruption having to do with common mail-in voting. Absentee voting is OK.” — Axios interview launched Monday.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: “Absentee balloting is completely acceptable. It’s a must to apply for an absentee poll, signatures are checked, it’s confirmed, it’s a lengthy custom. … However this common mail in voting the place you’re going to see actually ballots showered all throughout the state — it’s ripe for fraud.” — Fox Information interview Monday.

THE FACTS: Trump and his vp are making a false distinction. Mail-in ballots are forged in the identical means as absentee mail ballots, with the identical stage of scrutiny similar to signature verification in lots of states.

In additional than 30 states and the District of Columbia, voters have a proper to “no excuse” absentee voting. Meaning they will use mail-in ballots for any motive, regardless an individual is out of city or working. In Florida, the Legislature in 2016 voted to vary the wording of such balloting from “absentee” to “vote-by-mail” to clarify a voter can forged such ballots if they want.

Extra broadly, voter fraud has proved exceedingly uncommon. The Brennan Middle for Justice in 2017 ranked the chance of poll fraud at 0.00004% to 0.0009%, based mostly on research of previous elections.

5 states relied on mail-in ballots even earlier than the coronavirus pandemic raised considerations about voting in particular person.

“Trump is just fallacious about mail-in balloting elevating a ‘super’ potential for fraud,” Richard L. Hasen, an elections professional on the College of California, Irvine, College of Regulation, wrote just lately. “Whereas sure pockets of the nation have seen their share of absentee-ballot scandals, issues are extraordinarily uncommon within the 5 states that rely totally on vote-by-mail, together with the closely Republican state of Utah.”

In an obvious turnabout, Trump later within the week urged voters in Florida to vote by mail regardless of his rhetoric in opposition to the observe, arguing in a tweet that its system is “protected and safe, tried and true.” Florida is a must-win state for Trump, the place Democratic requests to vote by mail have been surging larger.


STEPHEN MILLER, White Home senior adviser: “Right here’s a surprising factor to your viewers to think about. No one who mails in a poll has their id confirmed. No one checks to see in the event that they’re even a U.S. citizen. Take into consideration that. Any — any overseas nationwide, speak about overseas election interference, can mail in a poll and no one even verifies in the event that they’re a citizen of the USA of America.” — Fox Information interview Monday.

THE FACTS: He’s incorrect to say that measures aren’t in place to substantiate a voter’s id or stop fraud with mail ballots.

Ballots sometimes require voters to offer figuring out info similar to a start date or Social Safety or driver’s license quantity. In most states, voters additionally signal the again of the envelope, which is then verified with the signature on their voter registrations.

Many jurisdictions use a bar code on the envelope, which is used to assist states establish any duplicate ballots and likewise let voters know if their poll was obtained.

Miller ignores separate built-in safeguards for mail-in ballots. The ballots, for example, are usually despatched to registered voters, who’ve to offer figuring out info on the time of registration, similar to an tackle, start date and proof of citizenship.

In Miller’s hypothetical situation of a overseas nationwide improperly casting a vote, that poll can be flagged and rejected for not having a signature on file or for failing to match one that’s. Primarily based on the envelope’s bar code, state voting officers additionally might establish and get rid of any duplicate ballots, whether or not they have been submitted mistakenly or fraudulently.



TRUMP, on the menace from Russia, China and Iran of meddling within the U.S. presidential election: “The largest danger that we’ve got is mail-in ballots. … It’s a lot simpler for them to forge ballots and ship them in, it’s a lot simpler for them to cheat with common mail-in ballots.” — information briefing Friday.

THE FACTS: Mail-in ballots aren’t the most important danger for overseas interference.

Making an attempt to affect a federal election by way of mail-in ballots would most likely imply paying 1000’s of U.S. residents, fastidiously chosen in pivotal states, who’re keen to conspire with a overseas authorities and danger detection and prosecution.

Far simpler and cheaper can be a social media marketing campaign looking for to discourage sure teams of individuals from voting, which is one thing the FBI has warned about. Or a cyberattack on voter registration knowledge that may get rid of sure voters from the rolls. That might trigger havoc at polling locations or election workplaces as officers try to depend ballots from people who find themselves “lacking” from their voter databases.

On Friday, William Evanina, director of the Nationwide Counterintelligence and Safety Middle, warned about overseas interference and mentioned Russia was already making an attempt to undercut Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Evanina cited partially Kremlin-linked figures who’re “looking for to spice up President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian tv.”

Final month, Legal professional Common Invoice Barr raised the likelihood {that a} “overseas nation might print up tens of 1000’s of counterfeit ballots.” He argued they might be onerous to detect, however that’s been disputed by election specialists.

Absentee and mail-in ballots are printed on particular paper and have to be formatted accurately to be able to be processed and counted. Ballots are particular to every precinct, typically with a protracted checklist of native races, and can be recognized as fraudulent if every little thing didn’t match exactly.



TRUMP: With extra mail-in voting, “it’s going to be months or years” till a presidential winner is thought. — Fox Information interview Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Not based on federal regulation. A presidential final result can be identified a technique or one other by mid-December.

It’s true that state election officers in some states have cautioned it could take extra time to depend an anticipated surge of ballots that folks ship by mail as a result of they don’t really feel protected exhibiting as much as the polls. In an election as shut because the one in 2016, a delayed tally in some states might maintain the end result from being rapidly identified.

However for a presidential election, the Structure provides Congress the ability to set the day when every state’s electors, these chosen in November, should forged their electoral votes. Congress set that day for “the primary Monday after the second Wednesday in December,” or Dec. 14 this 12 months.

Federal regulation additionally units a presidential election for the Tuesday after the primary Monday in November, which is Nov. three this election cycle. Meaning every state can have 5 weeks to report its remaining election tally, whether or not its vote depend is absolutely completed or not.

Delayed outcomes are frequent in a couple of states the place elections are already performed largely by mail. However a presidential election hasn’t been left in limbo since 2000, when poll irregularities in Florida led to chaos and court docket fights. In the end that dispute was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court docket, which successfully ended Florida’s recount 5 weeks afterward Dec. 12, 2000, saying that point had run out earlier than electors have been set to fulfill.


TRUMP, on issuing an govt order to deal with will increase in mail-in voting, which he says will result in extra fraud: “I’ve the best to do it.” — information briefing Monday.

THE FACTS: Not based on the Structure, which expressly provides states the best to run their elections, with oversight from Congress.

There isn’t a precedent or obvious authority for Trump to attempt to curtail using mail-in ballots by govt order. Any such order from the president will surely face constitutional challenges in court docket from voting rights teams.

Trump has beforehand floated a delay to the Nov. three election. The date of the presidential election— the Tuesday after the primary Monday in November in each fourth 12 months — is enshrined in federal regulation and would require an act of Congress to vary. Democrats, who management the Home, won’t help Trump on this. It seems Republicans gained’t, both.



TRUMP, on mail ballots: “There’s no verification of signatures. So that they don’t even know who’s going to signal this. They’ve actually a clause that you just don’t must confirm the signatures — that they don’t must do it.” — remarks Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Not true. Nevada’s present regulation requires signature checks on mail ballots. A brand new regulation additionally spells out a course of by which election officers are to verify a signature in opposition to the one in authorities information.

In Nevada’s June main, almost 7,000 ballots have been thrown out resulting from mismatched or lacking signatures.


MERCEDES SCHLAPP, Trump marketing campaign senior adviser: “Even come Election Day, you possibly can nonetheless forged a poll three days later in case you don’t have a postmark, or seven days later when you’ve got a postmark. … Say you vote for Joe Biden, then you definately discover out in Nevada that President Trump wins. You’ll be able to go to your loved ones members, you may go to your colleagues and say, ’Guess what, do you continue to have that mail-in vote? Let’s forged it, as a result of you may forged it a number of days after the election.” — CNN interview Tuesday.

THE FACTS: It’s a distortion for her to say that Nevada voters might nonetheless forged ballots a number of days after the election.

Underneath the brand new regulation, ballots have to be postmarked or “forged” by Election Day to be counted. Election officers are given as much as seven days to obtain and depend these ballots after the election. That further time for receipt is routine observe in lots of states for abroad and navy voters who submit ballots by mail.

Individually, the regulation states that if a mail poll is obtained as much as three days after the election, it may be counted if the date of the postmark is unclear or lacking. The goal is to offer sufficient time for supply and processing of ballots which might be correctly mailed on Election Day, although the Trump marketing campaign alleges in a lawsuit filed this previous week that the three-day provision would permit some ballots to be improperly mailed after the election after which counted.

That situation shouldn’t be the identical as granting large license to forged ballots “a number of days” after the election, as Schlapp asserts.

The marketing campaign’s go well with acknowledges that the window for alleged mischief is small as a result of most mail in Nevada already takes a minimum of one or two days to reach. A few of these ballots might show postmarks exhibiting they have been despatched late, which might disqualify them.


TRUMP: “What they’re going to do is blanket the state, anyone that ever walked, frankly, will get one.” — Fox Information interview Wednesday.

THE FACTS: His imagery of any dwelling being in Nevada receiving a mail-in poll, no matter age or different eligibility elements, is fake.

The brand new regulation requires that ballots be despatched to “lively” registered voters. “Energetic” registered voters are usually these with a present tackle on file with their native elections workplace.

There are further necessities to be registered to vote. In Nevada, an individual have to be a U.S. citizen and resident of the state, a minimum of 18 years previous, not presently in state or federal jail, and never discovered to be mentally incompetent to vote by a court docket.



TRUMP, on two Democratic congressional primaries: “They don’t know what occurred to them, is there fraud, is there — it’s a catastrophe.” — information briefing Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Whereas there have been vote-counting delays, there’s no proof of fraud within the two Democratic congressional primaries in New York Metropolis that Trump refers to, which have been gained by metropolis council member Ritchie Torres and Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Nor did Trump provide any proof of fraud.

New York state determined to permit anybody to vote by mail within the June main due to the coronavirus pandemic. Greater than 400,000 folks voted by absentee poll in New York Metropolis, a determine that was 10 instances the variety of absentee ballots forged within the 2016 main.

Opening and counting these ballots by elections officers took weeks. New York Metropolis’s Board of Elections in the end licensed the outcomes six weeks after the election.



TRUMP, requested if a vaccine for COVID-19 might grow to be obtainable earlier than the election: “I feel in some instances, sure potential earlier than, however proper round that point. …I’m speeding it. I’m. I’m pushing all people.” — interview Thursday on the Geraldo Rivera radio program.

THE FACTS: He’s providing a extra formidable timeline than his well being specialists and omitting key info.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s prime infectious illnesses professional, has mentioned he’s “cautiously optimistic” {that a} coronavirus vaccine can be prepared by early subsequent 12 months. Even then, Fauci made clear that the vaccine wouldn’t be broadly obtainable straight away.

“In the end, inside an affordable time period, the plans now permit for any American who wants a vaccine to get it inside the 12 months 2021,” Fauci informed Congress final week.

Underneath White Home orders, federal well being businesses and the Protection Division are finishing up a plan to ship 300 million vaccine doses on a compressed timeline. That may occur solely after the Meals and Drug Administration determines that a number of vaccines are protected and efficient. A number of candidates are being examined.

The push for a speedy vaccine has drawn concern from some scientists that the White Home will strain U.S. regulators to approve a vaccine earlier than it’s prepared.

In an op-ed this previous week, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn mentioned his company won’t be influenced by any political strain and can make selections “based mostly solely on good science and knowledge.”


TRUMP: “Youngsters are nearly — and I’d nearly say undoubtedly — however nearly immune from this illness, so few. …They don’t have an issue, they only don’t have an issue. … And I’ve have watched some docs say they’re completely immune.” — Fox information interview Wednesday.

THE FACTS: They aren’t immune. Though it’s true that kids are much less doubtless than adults to develop COVID-19, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has however counted greater than 250,000 infections by the virus in Individuals youthful than 18, or roughly 7% of all instances.

The variety of youngsters who’ve been contaminated however not confirmed is nearly definitely far larger than that, specialists say, as a result of these with delicate or no signs are much less more likely to get examined.

Trump overlooks extreme COVID-19 sicknesses and a few deaths of youngsters within the U.S., despite the fact that youngsters generally are inclined to get much less sick from it than adults do. He additionally glosses over the truth that youngsters can unfold illness with out exhibiting signs themselves.

The CDC in April studied the pandemic’s impact on completely different ages within the U.S. and reviewed preliminary analysis in China, the place the coronavirus began. It mentioned social distancing is vital for youngsters, too, for their very own security and that of others.

“Whereas most COVID-19 instances in kids usually are not extreme, critical COVID-19 sickness leading to hospitalization nonetheless happens on this age group,” the CDC examine says.

The CDC in May warned docs to be looking out for a uncommon however life-threatening inflammatory response in some kids who’ve had the coronavirus. The situation had been reported in additional than 100 kids in New York, and in some youngsters in a number of different states and in Europe, with some deaths.

Trump’s declare prompted Fb to delete his submit with a hyperlink to the Fox Information video due to the misinformation. Twitter briefly blocked the Trump marketing campaign from tweeting from its account, till it eliminated a submit with the identical video.


TRUMP: “Once you do lots of testing, you may have extra instances.” — Fox Information interview Wednesday.

THE FACTS: It’s not true that infections are excessive solely as a result of the U.S. diagnostic testing has elevated. Trump’s public well being officers have repeatedly shot down this line of considering. Infections are rising as a result of individuals are infecting one another greater than they have been when most everybody was hunkered down.

Elevated testing does contribute to the upper numbers, however there’s extra to it. Testing in actual fact has uncovered a worrisome development: The proportion of exams coming again constructive for the virus is on the rise throughout almost your entire nation.

That’s a transparent demonstration that illness is spreading and that the U.S. testing system is falling brief.


WR’s Election Analysis and High quality Management Group in New York, and Related Press writers Nicholas Riccardi in Denver, Michelle L. Worth in Las Vegas, Sam Metz in Carson Metropolis, Nevada, and Lauran Neergaard, Zeke Miller and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.


EDITOR’S NOTE — A have a look at the veracity of claims by political figures.


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