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President Donald Trump reminded the nation Wednesday of his pre-Election Day forecast that widespread use of mail-in ballots was going to cause the kind of post-election delays and chaos already seen.
As polls closed Tuesday, the president led in several battleground states, but final tallies are hours or days away in some of them due to extended mail-in and absentee ballot deadlines.
In Arizona, for instance, Trump was trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden by about six points. But while mail-in ballots have already been counted, in-person voting tallies were not yet available as the president spoke.
Fox News called the state for Biden very early Tuesday evening, drawing outrage from the Trump campaign as well as frustration from some of its own personalities. And while the network initially stood by its call, eventually the state’s 11 electoral votes were taken off the board for Biden and the state, as of this writing, remains undecided.
The president, who spoke in the East Room of the White House early Wednesday, reminded reporters that he predicted the post-election ballot-counting chaos that unfolded into the morning.
“They knew they couldn’t win, so they said let’s go to court. And did I predict this, Newt [Gingrich]? Did I say this?” Trump said, according to Breitbart News.
“I’ve been saying this from the day I heard they were going to send out tens of millions of ballots. I said exactly — because either they were going to win, or if they didn’t win, they’ll take us to court,” he added.
As of this writing, more than a half-dozen states including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, remain undecided.
Several states opted for mass use of mail-in balloting this year, ostensibly to help protect residents against the COVID-19 pandemic. But most of them had never done so before and as such, election officials were unprepared for the influx.
The president has been warning about problems associated with mass mail-in balloting for months.
“State of Nevada ‘thinks’ that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S. They can’t! If they do, ‘I think’ I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections,” he tweeted in May.
In July, the president took notice of a mail-in ballot experiment conducted by staffers at CBS This Morning in Philadelphia in which three out of 100 ballots — 3 percent — sent to the same post office box from different locations around the city never made it.
“Out of the initial batch mailed a week earlier, 97 out of 100 votes had arrived. Three simulated persons, or 3% of voters, were effectively disenfranchised by mail by giving their ballots a week to arrive…Four days after mailing the second batch of mock ballots, 21% of the votes hadn’t arrived,” the program reported.
Trump also lambasted Nevada again in August.
“In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court!” Trump said.
In October, the president’s campaign sued Nevada to halt Vegas-area vote-counting due to problems with signature checks.
Here are additional times the president warned about mail-in ballots:
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