GOP leaders have been sounding the alarm over the Democrat push for vote-by-mail measures for the November election, but one Republican Senator went rogue on Sunday, shocking Trump by going public with his support for mail-in voting.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “I think as long as you can do it safely, and as long as you can make sure there’s no fraud, we ought to be able to do absentee ballots like we do it in Florida.”
“If you follow the law, and you enforce the law, and you set up the laws the right way you can do it,” he continued.
Scott’s surprising comments in support of the widely panned voting schemes come at nearly the same time that President Trump began escalating his attacks on the proposed plans.
“To really vote, and without fraud, you have to go and you have to vote at the polling place,” Trump said on Thursday, remarking that mail-in voting is “wrought with fraud and abuse.”
Trump followed up the comments with a tweet on Sunday morning, again warning of the dangers of expanding voting by mail beyond absentee ballots.
“The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “People grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and “force” people to sign. Also, forge names. Some absentee OK, when necessary. Trying to use Covid for this Scam!”
Scott typically backs Trump on major issues but dismissed concerns, saying that “I believe you can do it safely and you have the laws and everybody follows the laws, I think that’s the key.”
Congressional Democrats have indicated that converting elections to a primarily mail-in process is a priority in the next coronavirus stimulus package.