Coronavirus Report

Klobuchar: Trump’s opposition to expanded mail-in voting is a ‘blatant effort to suppress the vote’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) called President Trump’s opposition to expanding access to vote-by-mail amid the coronavirus pandemic a “blatant effort to suppress the vote.” 

Klobuchar accused Trump of trying to scare voters with unsubstantiated claims that more mail-in voting would lead to widespread fraud in an effort to aid his bid for reelection in November. 

“He said it himself. I would love to break news on your show that I had some special thing, but he has said that the vote by mail is going to hurt him in his election,” Klobuchar said Wednesday in an interview with The Hill’s Steve Clemons. 

“So what does he do, which is his typical playbook? He then claims that it’s fraudulent to scare people in a blatant effort to suppress the vote,” she added. 

Trump has railed against mail-in voting, as Democrats have pushed to expand the option amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Klobuchar pushed back on the president’s claims.

“He says it is fraudulent, yet if you look at a state like Oregon, which is nearly 100 percent vote by mail … the fraud rate is like 0.0000001 percent or something like that. It’s crazy,” she said. 

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign was not immediately available for comment. 

In March, Klobuchar led a group of Democratic Senators in introducing the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, which would promote mail-on voting and expand early voting access during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) blocked her attempt Tuesday to push the bill through the Senate by unanimous consent due to concerns that it would federalize the election process. 

The bill would provide $3 million to the Election Assistance Commission to implement new requirements in the bill, including requiring states to expand early voting to 20 days prior to the election and extending the time for absentee ballots to be counted. 

Klobuchar told Clemons she’s pushing for the bill because voters shouldn’t have to choose “between their health and whether they can vote.” 

“What we’re trying to do here is put some minimal standards in,” she said. “Just have the polls open for 20 days ahead, you can go more if you want. To train the workers, make sure that you don’t have egregious requirements in place.”

Tags Amy Klobuchar Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump mail-in voting Roy Blunt Vote by Mail

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