White House chief of staff Mark Meadows clashed for over 20 minutes with host Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday on the viability of "universal" mail-in voting, arguing that states that are sending ballots to all registered voters are "just asking for a disaster."
Why it matters: The issue of mail-in voting during the pandemic has quickly become one of the most contentious debates in U.S. politics, especially in light of recent operational changes made to the U.S. Postal Service that have caused widespread delays and backlogs.
- President Trump and others in the administration have led a campaign to undermine the credibility of universal mail-in voting ahead the election, though they have repeatedly said they have no problem with absentee ballots.
- Fraud from mail-in voting has historically been rare, according to the Brennan Center. Oregon — a state that votes primarily by mail — has documented only about a dozen cases of fraud out of more than 100 million ballots since 2000.
Driving the news: President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump last week received their absentee ballots to vote in Florida. The White House and Trump campaign argue that absentee ballots and mail-in voting are different, but election experts say there is no real distinction.
What to watch: Meadows suggested that the White House would be open to passing a standalone bill — separate from coronavirus stimulus negotiations — to fund the U.S. Postal Service.