Attorney General William Barr spreads mail-in voting conspiracies

Attorney General William Barr spreads mail-in voting conspiracies

Attorney General William Barr continued to spread the unfounded conspiracy theory that November’s presidential election could be tainted by widespread mail-in voting fraud.

“Elections that have been held with mail have found substantial fraud and coercion,” Barr told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump has routinely called mail-in voting corrupt. There is no evidence to suggest that there has been widespread fraud, and Barr provided none in his interview.

Barr said mail-in voting could lead to interference from other countries. When pressed on the issue, Barr offered nothing to back up the claim.

“If we use a ballot system, a system that states are just now trying to adopt, it leaves it open to counterfeiting,” Barr said.

“Do you think a foreign country could do that?” Blitzer asked.

“I think anybody could do that,” Barr said.

“But have you seen any evidence that they’re trying to do that?” Blitzer asked.

“No, but most things can be counterfeited,” Barr said.

Trump said last month that China and Russia might attempt to “grab batches” of mail-in votes from Postal Service carriers.

“You can’t send out 16 million mail-in ballots ... who knows who’s getting them?” Trump said. “The mailmen are going to get them, people are going to just grab batches of them, and you talk about China and Russia, they’ll be grabbing plenty of them. It’s a disaster. It’s a rigged election waiting to happen.”

Barr has parroted Trump’s baseless talking points, and the attorney general told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Democrats were being “grossly irresponsible” by trying to expand mail-in voting.

“The idea of conducting elections by wholesale mail-in ballots is reckless and wrong,” Barr said last month. “Everyone knows what has happened in these cases.”

As the false allegations increased, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy ― a Trump donor whose business ties appear to pose a conflict of interest with the Postal Service ― removed more than 650 mail sorting machines across the country. It came the same month that Trump admitted to blocking funding to the Postal Service in an effort to cripple mail-in voting attempts.

“Now they need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump in an August interview on Fox Business. “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting.”

Following Trump’s 2016 presidential election, the White House set up a voter fraud commission in an effort to prove widespread voter fraud exists. The commission abruptly shut down less than a year later.

Mail-in voting has become a priority for the Nov. 3 election, when many more Americans are expected to vote by mail as a health precaution amid the coronavirus pandemic, which so far has killed more than 180,000 Americans.

Trump has said it will be the “most rigged” election in history if Americans are allowed to vote by mail.


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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.