Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Trump threatens to withhold funding to Michigan over false claim about absentee ballots

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2020 at 9:25 AM

  • Frederic Legrand - COMEO, Shutterstock

President Trump on Wednesday falsely claimed Michigan is illegally sending absentee ballots to all 7.7 million residents and threatened to withhold federal funding to the state.

Trump was referring to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s announcement Tuesday that she was mailing absentee ballot applications — not the actual ballots — to all 7.7 million active voters in the state. The idea is to make it easier for residents to vote without showing up in person to the August and November elections over fears of the coronavirus.

Voters still have to request an absentee ballot to vote by mail.

Two-thirds of Michigan voters approved a 2018 constitutional amendment that permits no-excuse absentee voting.

"Breaking: Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election," Trump tweeted. "This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!"

Benson quickly corrected Trump.

"Hi. I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia," Benson tweeted.

Trump's threat to withhold funding to Michigan comes at a time when the state is considering draconian cuts to overcome a $3.2 billion deficit in the current year, largely created by the impact of the coronavirus.

Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in Michigan's presidential election in November, according to recent polls.

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