President Trump has been adamant that mail-in ballots could compromise the 2020 presidential election, and Marc Thiessen pointed out that The New York Times used to feel the same way.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Twitter “added information to refute the inaccuracies” in a tweet Trump sent that “falsely claimed” mail-in ballots would cause the election to be rigged. While the Gray Lady reported that Trump’s tweet was inaccurate, history shows that the paper didn’t always feel that way.
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Thiessen – a Fox News contributor -- pointed out in a recent Washington Post column that the same New York Times condemned mail-in ballots as recently as 2012.
A 2012 Times report, "Error and Fraud at Issue as Absentee Voting Rises,” detailed the difficulties associated with absentee ballots.
“The piece noted that ‘there is a bipartisan consensus that voting by mail … is more easily abused than other forms,’ and that ‘votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth,’” Thiessen wrote.
As Thiessen noted, the Times reported “a bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform… concluded in 2005 that ‘absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.’”
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The 2012 Times piece also cited election experts claiming “challenges created by mailed ballots could well affect outcomes this fall and beyond,” and “increases the potential for fraud.”
“The flaws of absentee voting raise questions about the most elementary promises of democracy,” the Times reported in 2012. “Voting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner.”
The old Times piece also noted, “voting in person is more reliable, particularly since election administrators made improvements to voting equipment after the 2000 presidential election.”
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Earlier this month, Trump turned up the volume in his full-court press against the moves by some states to make voting by mail easier due to health concerns with in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic. He has been attacked by the left for condemning mail-in voting, while conservatives have noted that voting in person isn’t any more dangerous than going to the supermarket.
Twitter slapped a warning label on one of President Trump's tweets for the first time on Tuesday, cautioning readers that despite the president's claims, "fact checkers" say there is "no evidence" that expanded, nationwide mail-in voting would increase fraud risks -- and that "experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud."
Twitter's new warning label was issued even though a Twitter spokesperson acknowledged to Fox News that Trump's tweet had not broken any of the platform's rules, and even though several experts have called mail-in balloting an invitation to widespread fraud -- but Thiessen's issue is with the way it was covered by the Times.
“Eight years ago, the Times declared that ‘the flaws of absentee voting raise questions about the most elementary promises of democracy.’ Now that Trump is raising those same questions, the publication says doing so is illegitimate. It was right the first time,” Thiessen wrote.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and Gregg Re contributed to this report.