September 28, 2021

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Trump, without evidence, already claiming Gavin Newsom recall election is ‘rigged’ – SFGate

2 min read

Former President Donald Trump, who is still banned on most social media platforms for pushing thoroughly debunked voter fraud conspiracies related the 2020 presidential election, called into Newsmax Tuesday and offered some fresh new evidence-free conspiracies regarding the Gavin Newsom recall election.

“It’s probably rigged,” Trump said. “They’re sending out all ballots, the ballots are mail-in ballots; in fact, I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot. When that happens no one is going to win except these Democrats.”

Trump offered no specifics save for his “make your own ballot” line, which appears to be a reference to California’s Remote Accessible Vote By Mail program, a seldom-used system that was created for voters with disabilities

The system allows those voters to “mark their selections using their own compatible technology,” which can include having a computer play the audio of candidate names or clicking boxes as opposed to filling out bubbles on paper. In order to qualify for remote accessible vote by mail, a voter must contact election officials and receive pre-clearance.

With recent polling showing that Newsom has seemingly closed the partisan enthusiasm gap and seems likely to survive the recall (Democrats make up 47% of registered voters in California while Republicans make up only 24%), conservatives have increasingly turned to blaming fictitious voter fraud to preempt a potential loss.

On Tuesday, Fox News personality Tomi Lahren proclaimed on air “the only thing that will save Gavin Newsom is voter fraud,” dismissing another panelist’s explanation that Newsom’s massive fundraising advantage has allowed him to build an army of staffers to connect with previously apathetic Democratic voters and convince them to cast ballots.

Voting by mail — which entails signature checks conducted by elections officials once ballots are received — has long existed without any evidence of widespread fraud. Trump himself has routinely voted by mail, and a 2020 Stanford University study found that universal vote-by-mail policies have no effect on partisan turnout or vote share. A 2020 special congressional election in California — conducted almost entirely by mail — was won by Republican Mike Garcia, flipping a seat previously held by Democrats.

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