- White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended her voting record by mail for more than a decade, while opposing an expanded freedom of choice.
- Several states have moved to give voters who fear the coronavirus greater access to absentee ballots, a move Republicans have fiercely opposed.
- President Donald Trump, who also voted absent this year, is among the most visible opponents of expanded post-in polls.
WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended her decade-long voting record with the post, arguing on Wednesday that her public opposition to expanding post-in voting for other people is incompatible with her personal use of post-in voting.
“Eligible absenteeism has the word absent for a reason. It means you are absent from jurisdiction or unable to vote in person,” McEnany told NBC News. “President Trump is against the Democratic plan to politicize the corona virus and expand mass voting without cause, which has a high propensity for voter fraud. This is a simple distinction that the media fails to understand.”
McEnany answered a story published on Wednesday by The Tampa Bay Times, which reported that McEnany, according to state records, has been voting in Florida with post-in absentee ballots for over a decade.
An examination of government records shows that McEnany has voted absent every time she has voted since 2008, a total of 12 times, at the latest in March in the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to being an absentee voter herself, McEnany is also a high-profile defender of President Donald Trump’s recent attacks on expanding post-in ballots.
McEnany’s statement on Wednesday that Democrats want to “extend mass mail voting for no reason” ignored the threat of the coronavirus, which has killed about 100,000 Americans over the past four months. In Washington, Republicans have strongly opposed the state’s efforts to expand voter access by mail in light of the threat of coronavirus, and gain more than Trump himself.
The usual justification for Republican opposition to voting by mail is that it provides opportunities for “voter fraud.” But voter fraud, although considered a serious threat by some, is in reality so rare that research has repeatedly shown that it does not play a noticeable role in American elections.
However, Trump has said that one of the main reasons he opposes post-in polls is because he tweeted in April and voted for the favored Democrats, not Republicans.
Like McEnany, Trump himself voted for the Florida post earlier this year. Still, he recently told reporters: “I think voting via email is horrible, it’s corrupt.”
When asked how he squared his own practice with his opinion on voting by mail, Trump replied, “Sure, I can vote for the post. For that I may do.”
Despite the efforts of Republicans in Washington, several states have already taken steps to expand access to post-in ballots for voters who are worried about getting the coronavirus if forced to vote in person at an election site.
In Texas, a federal judge recently ruled that all voters affected by the corona virus may request an absentee ballot. And in Michigan, the Secretary of State announced earlier this month that all voters would be sent to applications for absentee ballots, so they could request them if they wanted. Michigan is one of several states that does not require voters to give a specific reason for voting absenteeism.
California Prime Minister Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, recently announced that the state will send actual votes, not just ballot applications, to voters ahead of the November election, a move that draws the president’s watch.
In New Hampshire, Prime Minister John Sununu, a Republican, also said recently that all voters who want to vote by post in November will be allowed to do so.
A number of other states have already sent ballot applications currently absent to all eligible voters ahead of the spring primary, including Iowa, Georgia, West Virginia and Nebraska.