Former President Jimmy Carter fired back in support of mail-in voting after Attorney General William Barr’s disapproval of the voting practice.
Carter released a brief statement in support of absentee ballots as he also confirmed he personally votes using that particular method.
He said on Thursday, “I approve the use of absentee ballots and have been using them for more than five years.”
Additionally, Carter cited the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform study he co-chaired.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter:— The Carter Center (@CarterCenter) September 4, 2020
“I approve the use of absentee ballots and have been using them for more than five years.”https://t.co/VPxnCnwS5Y
The former president’s remarks came shortly after Barr’s CNN appearance on Wednesday.
During an exclusive interview with Wolfe Blitzer, Barr suggested that he is in support of President Donald Trump’s assertions as he claimed the possible expansion of mail-in voting would be similar to “playing with fire.”
“We’re a very closely divided country here, and people have to have confidence in the legitimacy of the government,” Barr said. “People trying to change the rules to this methodology, which as a matter of logic is very open to fraud and coercion, is reckless and dangerous, and people are playing with fire.”
Talking about Carter’s 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, Barr claimed it found “mail-in voting is fraught with the risk of fraud and coercion.”
See Barr’s remarks below:
.@wolfblitzer presses AG William Barr on mail-in voting: "So far, we haven’t seen widespread fraud.”— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) September 2, 2020
Barr: “So far we haven’t tried it… This is playing with fire… People trying to change the rules to this methodology… is reckless and dangerous.” pic.twitter.com/neXSHSvJQS
Carter’s latest remarks come months after the release of a previous statement back in May where he verbalized his support of mail-in ballots.
At the time, Carter also referenced the findings of the same 2005 non-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, which he co-chaired with former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
The study, which advocated for the federal and state expansion of mail-in voting, determined that “there was little evidence of voter fraud” when proper precautions in place.
“The commission’s main recommendations on vote-by-mail and absentee voting were to increase research on vote-by-mail (and early voting) and to eliminate the practice of allowing candidates or party workers to pick up and deliver absentee ballots,” the statement read.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also pushed back against the commission Carter referenced as she claimed on Thursday that he “said in 2005, as part of a bipartisan commission, absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”