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Pelosi on Trump and Mail-in Voting: ‘I Don't Know What He's Doing…But What He's Doing Is Not Right’

By CNSNews.com Staff | May 27, 2020 | 11:25am EDT
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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) on Tuesday about the objections President Donald Trump has been raising to using large-scale mail-in voting in this November’s election.

“What is your understanding of what the president is in the act of doing, vis-à-vis the sort of administration legitimacy of the election this fall?” Hayes asked Pelosi.

I don't know what he's doing, and I don't know if he knows what he's doing. But what he's doing is not right,” Pelosi responded.

“The fact is, as a former chair of the California Democratic Party, I can tell you Republicans have always enjoyed much success with vote-by-mail,” she continued. 

“The absentee ballots have never been a good moment for us over time,” she said. “So, they know how to use the mail for their voting. And there's no scientific study that says one party or the other benefits from it.  

“But this is now a health issue,” she said.

Here is a transcript of the exchange between Hayes and Pelosi on President Trump and mail-in voting:

Chris Hayes: “I mean, they are going to negotiate. That's clear, and I think it's interesting, the degree to which Senator McConnell has changed his tune.

“One other item that has been the focus of your Caucus, and was in the last CARES Act, was money for states that want to implement mail-in voting. Now, traditionally, vote-by-mail has not been a particularly divisive or partisan issue. Utah uses it. Oregon uses it. The president of the United States used it. Republican campaigns tend to encourage it among people.

“The president has gone on this jihad against mail-in voting that is, to me, bizarre, but also dangerous and irresponsible and really quite insidious.  He's been tweeting how it's all fraud. How they’re going to pick them up. Twitter had to append a fact check to some of his tweets. What is your understanding of what the president is in the act of doing, vis- à -vis the sort of administration legitimacy of the election this fall?”

Nancy Pelosi: “I don't know what he's doing, and I don't know if he knows what he's doing. But what he's doing is not right.

“The fact is, as a former chair of the California Democratic Party, I can tell you Republicans have always enjoyed much success with vote-by-mail. The absentee ballots have never been a good moment for us over time. So, they know how to use the mail for their voting. And there's no scientific study that says one party or the other benefits from it.  

“But this is now a health issue. We talk about saving lives, testing; the livelihood, the economy; and the life of our democracy, vote-by-mail. Now, people have to choose between their health and their vote. That shouldn't be the case. We should always be removing obstacles of participation to the vote.

“That is the sacred right of our democracy, to vote. Remove obstacles. But at a time of the health–of a pandemic, even more important to give people an option that is not a risk to their lives, as well. 

“So, you know, again, I can't, I don't even want to go where he goes. But the point is, this is a very positive initiative that has support throughout the country, bipartisan support. We're asking for $3.6 billion, which is what it will take to make sure that the states have the resources they need to ensure that people have the right to vote. We want them, every eligible voter–registered voter, to get a ballot mailed to them. That when they mail it back, it's postage paid. That if they need to register on election day, same-day registration or even if it’s before election day, the same day as they go in. And to have safe places for people to vote should they decide that they want to vote in person for whatever personal reason that is. “

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