Twitter on Tuesday placed a notification fact-checking tweets sent by U.S. President Donald Trump claiming that mail-in ballots will be “substantially fraudulent” and result in a “rigged election.”
The notification, which displays a blue exclamation mark underneath the tweets, prompts readers to “get the facts about mail-in ballots” and directs them to a page with news articles and information from fact checkers debunking the claim.
“Fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud,” the page read.
“Trump falsely claimed that California will send mail-in ballots to ‘anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there.’ In fact, only registered voters will receive ballots.”
Trump’s tweets come as voting rights activists have filed dozens of lawsuits around the U.S. to increase universal vote-by-mail and other ballot access measures, which Democrats say are needed to reduce long lines at polling sites that could increase the spread of COVID-19.
Advocates of expanding absentee voting contend disproportionately minority, disabled and immunocompromised individuals who tend to vote Democratic could be disenfranchised and the election thrown into chaos unless immediate steps are taken to make it easier and safer to vote.
States have broad authority to set their own rules for voting, and numerous studies have found little evidence of voter fraud connected to voting by mail.
But Republican Party officials argue election fraud would increase if more voters are not required to appear in person to cast a ballot.
Trump last week suggested he might withhold federal funding from some states, such as Michigan and Nevada, for seeking to expand voting by mail. But he dropped the threat after an avalanche of criticism from Democrats.
Both states are pivotal to his re-election bid.