Trump began Veterans Day weekend by refusing to attend a ceremony honoring fallen American soldiers due to rain, and he is ending it by attempting to disenfranchise members of the U.S. military who live overseas, and still want to participate in the American democracy that they are putting their lives on the line to protect.
On Monday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that it was time to call the Florida election in favor of the Republican candidate for Governor, Ron DeSantis, and the Republican candidate for Senate, Rick Scott, because the leads these two men had on election night have been tightening as votes have continued to be counted.
Trump said that “large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere” and that “many ballots are missing or forged.”
“Must go with Election Night!” the leader of the free world tweeted.
That’s bad news for the military. Ballots from overseas citizens and military voters had to be postmarked by November 6, 2018, which was election day. But as long as the ballots arrive by November 16, the law mandates that they must be counted.
“A 10-day extension exists for overseas voters. The overseas voter’s vote-by-mail ballot must be postmarked or dated by Election Day and received within 10 days of the election in order to be counted, provided the ballot is otherwise proper,” according to the official website of the Florida Division of Elections.
Trump and many of his allies in the GOP have been in full meltdown mode since Election Day, as votes in many key races in Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and other states, have continued to trickle in and close the gap in races that appeared to be huge victories for the Republican party.
On Friday, Trump said that there should be a new election in Arizona because of “fraud.” There is no evidence of fraud, and on Sunday night, the Cook Political Report called the race in favor of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) over Trump ally Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ).
Because of the tightened margins, both the Governor and Senator races in Florida are in a recount.
None of this is unusual. It often takes weeks for vote counts to be finalized and made official — as of Sunday night, only one of the fifty states certified its final election results. Typically, the public isn’t invested in that process because the vote counts aren’t close enough for it to matter.
This is lost on Trump, though. “An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected,” he tweeted.