NEW YORK CITY — President Donald Trump’s assault on voting by mail continues, and he’s using New York’s struggle to expand its absentee ballot system to make his case.
The latest revelations about New York’s voting issue stems from a lawsuit brought by Democrat Suraj Patel who is running against long time Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in the 12th Congressional District.
Patel is suing the state after more 12,000 absentee ballots were tossed out in his race because they were not properly postmarked by the Post Office, had signature issues, or other concerns.
During a hearing Thursday, a worker for the Post Office testified that the New York City Board of Elections sent out more than 33,000 absentee ballots too late for people to actually vote. They were dropped at a postal facility in Manhattan only day before Election Day.
A spokeswoman for the BOE would only say all ballots were sent in accordance with the law.
“It’s so messed up, they have no idea, there are ballots missing, thousands and thousands,” Trump said Friday.
He's frequently claimed mail-in ballots lead to fraud and are too time consuming to count. He himself votes by absentee ballot.
There is no evidence of fraud or “election rigging” as part of New York’s voting struggles.
The president also floated the idea on Twitter of delaying the election, which he does not have the power to do.
Voting rights activist Rev. Lennox Yearwood said the president is making a bad faith case against mail in voting. The founder of “Respect My Vote!” is preaching patience as many states transition to this safer form of Democracy during the pandemic.
“As long as we know people are trying to do their best that I think we can be patient,” Yearwood said. “But when we’re being told this is fraud or there’s bad intentions when there’s not, it creates a bad situation.”
Thursday, during a eulogy for the late congressman John Lewis, former President Barack Obama went a step farther by saying Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting are part of broader attempts to suppress voting.
Patel is still awaiting a ruling on his lawsuit. Maloney has declared victory after the initial count showed her leading by more than 3,000 votes.