This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
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Trump aides and White House reps are practically stepping on each other to defend President Trump after Twitter took the drastic step of adding a fact-checking label to two of his tweets. The tweets in question both claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to widespread voter fraud and would result in a rigged election. After longstanding concerns about the social media platform’s failure to enforce its own policies in regards to the president’s behavior, they created a landing page for users to “get the facts” about mail-in ballots. Trump took to — where else? — Twitter to express his outrage, and now his mouthpieces are doing similar work in the media.
Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, has made several media appearances in defense of her boss. This morning on Fox and Friends, the President’s counselor sent hoards of trolls after Twitter’s head of site integrity, who compared Conway to Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels in tweets from 2017. Later in the day, she made the very odd comparison of waiting in line to vote in-person to waiting in line to buy a cupcake.
“People are very proud to show up and go to the polls, they really are,” Conway said. “I mean, 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 consequential and critical and constitutionally significant as cast their ballot.”
I’m going to go on a limb and guess that the analogy section of the SAT was not Kellyanne’s forte. https://t.co/OyZtA2UEeh
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) May 27, 2020
Conway has picked up where Trump left off in a massive movement to dissuade mail-in voting. Despite Trump’s concerns, the question of in-person voting became a topic of public health in light of the coronavirus pandemic. After Wisconsin held in-person primaries in April, it was suspected to have led to a spike in the number of cases of COVID-19 in the state. In an effort to avoid unnecessary crowds, states are preparing to allow residents to vote by mail for November’s presidential election.
Trump has interpreted this as an attack on Republicans. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has spent the last week defending this point of view, insisting that it causes election fraud (except, of course, when the president does it, which he did). Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Times found that McEnany herself has voted by mail 11 times in the last 10 years.
Election experts have even warned that this attack on mail-in ballots could actually backfire on Republicans come November. As states have increased vote-by-mail options in the past decade, Republicans and Democrats have experienced small, but equivalent increases in voter turnout.
Despite Conway’s assertion, Georgetown cupcakes now delivers, which, one could say, is kind of like a ballot being delivered to your mailbox.
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