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Thousands Request Absentee Ballots in Iowa

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President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to hold up coronavirus relief money for MI after he said that the state had sent absentee ballots to millions of voters.

And his claims that absentee voting will encourage cheating are at odds with the activity of state and national Republican leaders, who are mounting aggressive field operations, including mass mailings of ballot applications, to encourage their voters to cast ballots by mail.

In late April, as voters began preparing for the state's elections, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued an alert to voters to be wary of potential voter fraud schemes, largely connected to the "ability of fraudsters to steal or manipulate absentee ballots now that more people will use a mail-in, absentee ballot due to social distancing measures". Ironically, the report found that non-voters could boost Trump's chances of winning a state like Nevada - one of the states Trump lambasted on Twitter Wednesday morning after officials announced the state would conduct an all-mail election.

It's unclear what mechanism the president was referring to for withholding funding. And again, the history is that mail-in ballots are honest, and there is very, very little indication of fraud.

But it is not ballots that are being sent out. In March, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order suspending election laws for the local May 5 elections to ensure voters could vote absentee if they so wished.

"Oklahomans deserve to make their voices heard safely without further barriers to the voting process as we continue to deal with a worldwide pandemic", Andrews said.

Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska and West Virginia also are mailing ballot applications to voters.

"Hi! I also have a name, it's Jocelyn Benson".

"To really vote and without fraud", Trump said later in MI, "you have to go to the polling place".

MI is among states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and Trump and the state's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, have clashed over federal assistance during the crisis.

Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in Michigan's presidential election in November, according to recent polls. Trump won MI by less than 1 percent of the vote in 2016.

A White House spokesperson said Friday that both Trumps voted by absentee ballot in NY "a few weeks ago".

"President Trump is correct".

"Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election", Trump tweeted Wednesday. "Existing case law in MI supports that conclusion as well".

Warner said an increase in absentee ballots comes with a natural increase in opportunities for fraud.

"We have been clear that we can not have rogue state officials or activist courts making unilateral decisions", RNC spokesperson Mandi Merritt said. While systematic voter suppression certainly plays a role in this anemic performance, millions of Americans don't vote because they have lost faith in the system or believe that elections are rigged.

"We don't want anyone to do mail-in ballots", Trump told reporters before leaving for MI. "Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in MI has the right to do it".

President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 19, 2020, in Washington.

The $50,000 ad-purchase that is set to run in MI and nationally on Fox News, as well as digital ads online, is a direct rebuke to Trump-it will come during his trip to a Ford Motor Co. manufacturing plant in the Mitten State that is making ventilators. "Make sure you apply by May 26th at http://votespa.com so you can vote by mail for @realDonaldTrump!".

"The continued risk from the COVID-19 virus is exactly why Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sent every active voter an absentee ballot request form", Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said in a statement. Trump and his Republican allies, however, oppose the idea.

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