Sen. Tim Scott, who delivered the closing speech at the Republican National Convention Monday night, said he is not concerned about potential fraud due to expanded mail-in-voting, contradicting President Donald Trump who accused Democrats of “trying to steal the election.”
“I have a lot of confidence in our electoral process,” the South Carolina Republican said when asked about Trump’s fraud concerns on NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday morning. “I’m very confident that we will have fair elections throughout this country.”
Several states – including some with Republican governors or secretaries of state – have eased requirements for absentee ballots, or moved to send ballots to all registered voters, to give those concerned about coronavirus infection the option of avoiding potentially crowded polling stations. Trump has repeatedly railed against those efforts as opening the door to potential fraud, though experts say there is little evidence to support those concerns.
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Democrats have decried Trump’s claims and have accused the administration of implementing changes at the Postal Service to impede the ability of voters to mail in their ballots. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy sharply disputed those allegations as a “false narrative” during a contentious House hearing on Monday.
“We will do everything we can to handle and deliver election mail in a manner consistent with the proven processes and procedures that we have relied upon for years,” DeJoy said.
The president spoke at length about voting-by-mail during his appearance at the RNC roll call of states in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday.
“This is the greatest scam in the history of politics,” Trump said. “What they’re doing is using COVID to steal an election.”
Scott disagreed, telling NBC, “This process of mail-in ballots will prove to work out just fine.”
“I think every single American should have the right to vote. How we do so is important. That we do so is more important. And I’m going to have confidence that all of the moving pieces will actually fit together and we will have a very strong, integrity-driven, character-driven election,” Scott said.
Scott was widely praised for what many called an uplifting and positive speech after other RNC speakers delivered dark and dire warnings about what would happen to the country if Trump was not reelected.
When asked about those differences in tone, Scott said “drawing contrasts is very important” but said he prefers to focus on the fact America has “evolved into a better nation and we continue to move towards that more perfect union.”
“The importance of the messages I’m trying to provide to the American people is that we are better together and this election cycle we’ll have a chance to decide the fate of this nation and the direction of this nation, and I’m actually very optimistic and excited about where we’re going,” Scott said.
Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary who is now serving as Melania Trump’s chief of staff, told MSNBC
she is “confident” in voting by mail and has never experienced any problems with it. She said she did not know what the first lady thought about the issue.
“In my personal opinion, I have never had any issues with that,” Grisham said. “I think the things that the president has brought up are very, very valid. But, if you’re asking me if I have had personally any problems with it, I have not.”
Contributing: Christal Hayes and Nicholas Wu