“But in California, the governor sent, I hear, or is sending millions of ballots all over the state,” Trump said in a news conference. “Millions. To anybody. To anybody. People that aren’t citizens, illegals, anybody that walks in California is gonna get a ballot.”
Facts First: Trump is completely wrong. Newsom’s order provides ballots only to people who are registered to vote. Noncitizens, including undocumented immigrants, are explicitly not permitted to register to vote in federal elections.
Trump first made this accusation Tuesday morning on Twitter. “The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people,” the President tweeted, “anyone… …living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one.”
Here’s the background:
On May 8 Newsom issued an executive order to send mail-in ballots to all registered California voters for the November elections due to concerns over in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Each county elections officials shall transmit vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election to all voters who are, as of the last day on which vote-by-mail ballots may be transmitted to voters in connection with that election, registered to vote in that election,” the order reads in part.
This was reiterated in a press release following the order.
“Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order to ensure that Californians can exercise their right to vote in a safe and accessible manner during the General Election this November,” the press release said. “The order requires that each county’s elections officials send vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election to all registered voters.”
Under the order, you must be registered to vote in order to receive a mail-in ballot.
There have been some news reports that errors by government employees have allowed small numbers of noncitizens to register to vote in California and in some other states. Regardless, Trump’s claim that Newsom is sending a ballot to every single noncitizen remains false.
Trump’s comments on Tuesday come after the Republican National Committee and other Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California to stop it from mailing absentee ballots ahead of the November election.
Trump has repeatedly made false claims alleging widespread voter fraud in the US, including specific allegations that millions of illegal votes were cast. There is no evidence of rampant voter fraud in the US. Numerous studies have suggested that voter fraud is all but nonexistent in the US. Earlier in his administration, Trump’s own voter fraud commission disbanded without finding any evidence to back the President’s claims.