President Donald Trump has spent $20 million of his political war chest to stop it. He riffs about it at rallies. He tweets relentlessly about it.
Yet six months into a crusade to stop universal mail-in voting, Trump hasn’t yet prevented a single state from sending voters the unsolicited ballots he claims, with minimal evidence, are ripe for fraud.
His attempts in Nevada, New Jersey and Montana are tied up in court. His legal challenge in California was circumvented by the state legislature. And he hasn’t challenged the mailing of ballots in the six other states that plan to mail them, including Vermont, the last state that switched to full remote voting this year following the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.
Time is running out. Ballots are already being sent across the country. Some counties in New Jersey began mailing them last week. Both Vermont and Nevada, a battleground state the president campaigned in last weekend, expect to mail ballots within days.
“Once the ballots have gone out, it’s hard to see how the courts could grant meaningful relief on the claims,” said Richard Pildes, a leading expert on election law and a professor of constitutional law at the New York University School of Law. “There would be no way to put the genie back in the bottle, no way to put the toothpaste back in the tube.”