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LAURIE ROBERTS

Gov. Doug Ducey schools Trump on Arizona's mail-in voting system

Opinion: Gov. Doug Ducey extols the benefits of Arizona's mail-in voting system. Trump changes the subject.

Laurie Roberts
Arizona Republic
Gov. Doug Ducey updates President Trump on August 5, 2020 on how Arizona is dealing with COVID-19.

Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday schooled President Donald Trump on the merits of Arizona’s mail-in voting system, saying it is “difficult, if not impossible to cheat.”

So naturally Trump … changed the subject.

Ducey extolled the virtues of Arizona’s early voting system even as Trump has repeatedly railed against mail-in voting, warning that it will lead to widespread voter fraud in November.

Never mind that there’s no evidence that mail-in voting has ever led to widespread voter fraud.

“In Arizona, we’re going to do it right,” Ducey said, in answer to a reporter’s question during a White House meeting with Trump. “It will be free and fair. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to cheat. And it will be easy to vote. Seventy-eight percent of the citizens already vote by mail in Arizona. But we’ve been doing this since 1992. So over the course of decades, we’ve established a system that works and can be trusted.”

Trump eventually conceded we do it well

Ducey threw a bone to the president saying, “this is no time to experiment” but he noted that Arizona is a model for mail-in voting.

“We want to make sure that everyone that wants to vote can vote, and they will in Arizona,” he said.

Cue the president: “And don’t forget, if you look at what they’re doing in Nevada: no signature. You take a look at the signature, and there’s no verification of signature allowed. I don’t know if you do that – .”

“We do,” Ducey replied.

“ — but there’s no verification of signatures,” Trump continued. “So they don’t even know who’s going to sign this. They have literally a clause that you don’t have to verify the signatures — that they don’t have to do it.

“So right there, it’s no good; it’s defective. Two — two votes in an envelope — in a single envelope. It — this is a thing that will be a disaster like never before. So we’ll see what the court has to say about it.”

Trump has sued Nevada, which recently became the eighth state that plans to mail every voter a ballot given concerns about voter safety during the pandemic.

Like Arizona, Nevada's law details a signature verification process, requiring election officials to check a mail-in voter's signature against the voter signature on record.

Trump, during his meeting with Ducey, eventually conceded that Arizona and Florida have done a “good job” with mail-in voting. But rather than suggesting that other states emulate our best practices, he snapped right back to complaining about Nevada, which is run by a Democratic governor.

“Arizona has been doing this for a long time, and it’s been refined. Even if — if Nevada wanted to do it well, they wouldn’t have enough time," Trump said. "I’m sure the Post Office doesn’t have enough time. Millions of ballots, all of a sudden, coming out of nowhere. You know, voting starts in a very short period of time.”

Nevada’s Republican secretary of state testified at a recent legislative hearing that there were no instances of fraud during the June primary elections, which were conducted almost entirely by mail.

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com.