Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing the White House on June 20, 2020 for a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images)

'Systematic Assault on Legitimacy of Our Election': Trump Launches Conspiratorial Attack on Mail-In Voting

The president is "laying the groundwork for an election challenge," warned Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics.

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump on Monday launched a baseless attack on mail-in voting that critics charged is part of an effort to preemptively delegitimize the results of the 2020 election as his poll numbers continue to slide.

"Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history—unless this stupidity is ended," Trump tweeted Monday morning. "We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!"

Trump's tweet followed an earlier all-caps outburst in which the president warned, without providing a shred of evidence, that "millions of mail-in ballots will be printed by foreign countries, and others."

"It will be the scandal of our times," Trump tweeted.

In a separate tweet just minutes earlier, the president cited Attorney General William Barr's evidence-free claim during a Fox News interview Sunday that mail-in voting "absolutely opens the floodgates to fraud."

"Those things are delivered into mailboxes," Barr said. "They can be taken out."

Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, warned the president is "laying the groundwork for an election challenge" with his attacks on mail-in voting.

"Barr's corrupt enough to help him do it," said Shaub. "That's why the House must impeach Barr. Even if the Senate won't convict, it puts down a historical marker that this is not OK and creates a factual record exposing Barr's corruption."

Dartmouth College political scientist professor Brendan Nyhan echoed Shaub, calling Trump's tweets "a systematic assault on the legitimacy of our election."

"Elections have been held during wars and pandemics," Nyhan said, "but never with the president attacking the result before it has even taken place."

Advocacy groups and election experts say nationwide mail-in voting is the only way to safely hold the November elections amid the Covid-19 pandemic. But Trump has repeatedly attacked absentee voting as "corrupt"—despite having done it himself—and threatened to sue states that expand access to mail-in ballots.

In an interview with Politico last Friday, Trump openly admitted that he views mail-in voting as a grave threat to his reelection prospects.

"My biggest risk is that we don't win lawsuits," Trump said, referring to the Republican Party's multi-million-dollar legal effort to block expansions of absentee voting. "We have many lawsuits going all over. And if we don't win those lawsuits, I think—I think it puts the election at risk."

Fearing that Trump could refuse to leave office if he loses reelection in November, advocacy groups Stand Up America and Indivisible are preparing to mobilize millions of people to ensure that the election results are protected.

"Trump has no respect for the rule of law, and we have no reason to believe he will leave willingly after losing reelection," Ezra Levin, co-founder and co-executive director of Indivisible, said in a statement earlier this month. "Preparing for the possibility of Trump refusing to concede isn't just reasonable, it's the responsible thing to do."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Ahead of Historic House Hearing, Fresh Big Oil Misinformation Campaign Exposed

"It's always helpful to remember that big fossil fuel companies (besides being overwhelmingly responsible for carbon pollution) are also skeevy disinformation hucksters."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Very Welcome' Progress as Iran Agrees to Restart Talks on Nuclear Deal Sabotaged by Trump

One peace advocate urged all sides to reconvene negotiations "as soon as possible and with renewed urgency" to avert "disastrous" consequences for Iran and the world.

Brett Wilkins ·


House Progressives: 'When We Said These Two Bills Go Together, We Meant It'

"Moving the infrastructure bill forward without the popular Build Back Better Act risks leaving behind working people, families, and our communities."

Andrea Germanos ·


As US Makes Case for Extradition, Global Demand Rises For Assange's Immediate Freedom

"Virtually no one responsible for alleged U.S. war crimes committed in the course of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has been held accountable... and yet a publisher who exposed such crimes is potentially facing a lifetime in jail."

Julia Conley ·


Wyden's New Billionaires Income Tax Plan Applauded as Step Toward Justice

"For too long, families have been denied basic supports... while billionaires evade taxes on obscene amounts of wealth. This dynamic is economically dangerous and morally unsustainable."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo