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Let Me Get This Straight, Donald Trump Is Against Mail-In Voting but Also In-Person Voting Now Too?

Donald Trump addresses reporters while standing in front of a row of American flags.

Donald Trump spent much of his weekend trying to interfere in a special election happening in California and he did so the only way he knows how: with baseless lies, partisan attacks, and a whole heap of self-contradictions.

The election in question is a race between Democratic state assemblywoman Christy Smith and Republican businessman/ex-Navy pilot Mike Garcia. They’re running to fill seat vacated by Katie Hill, who resigned from the House last fall over allegations of an affair with a staffer and what she said was a smear campaign orchestrated by her ex-husband, Republican operatives, and the rightwing media.

For weeks, Donald Trump has been railing against mail-in voting, falsely claiming that Democrats exploit the system to rig elections.

That statement there is 100% false but that hasn’t stopped him from repeating the sentiment.

Again, just not true.

Trump was tweeting those statements around Wisconsin’s primary election last month, when Democrats were pushing for expanded access to mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic. Attacking and limiting mail-in voting was a way to suppress voter turnout, which as Trump himself has admitted, tends to benefit Republicans.

But now, leading up to California’s special election, Trump has shifted gears and decided the real problem isn’t mail-in voting, it’s in-person voting.

“Governor @GavinNewsom of California won’t let restaurants, beaches and stores open, but he installs a voting booth system in a highly Democrat area (supposed to be mail in ballots only) because our great candidate, @MikeGarcia2020, is winning by a lot,” Trump wrote in one of a series of tweets posted this weekend. “CA25 Rigged Election!”

Setting aside the fact that Governor Newsom has no control over polling locations, there’s still so much wrong with that tweet.

Because of coronavirus concerns, every registered voter in California was set to receive a pre-stamped mail-in ballot. But a few in-person polling places were also slated to open and that’s what Trump has decided to take issue with.

In another tweet, he called one polling location in Lancaster, California–a fairly remote suburb about an hour northeast of Los Angeles–”the most Democrat area in the State.” That’s a very weird assessment of that area, which has a Republican mayor, Senator, and Congressional rep. (The city is split between two congressional districts. One is represented by Republican Kevin McCarthy and the other was repped by Republicans for the last two and a half decades before Hill took office.)

According to the Washington Post, California’s 25th district would have about 1,000 polling locations. This election will have 13. That includes Lancaster, which does have a fairly large African-American population and Democrats wanted a polling place there to make sure those voters weren’t disenfranchised, but a liberal oasis it is not.

In yet another tweet, Trump encourages Republicans to “get out and VOTE,” so I guess he’s only opposed to in-person voting when it’s at a polling location in an area with a larger POC population.

The man really has no shame when it comes to mixed messages and hypocrisy.

(image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.