Religious-right radio host Sandy Rios warned listeners Wednesday that Democrats advocating for the establishment of a national vote-by-mail system to ensure the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic does not prevent people from participating in this year’s election are secretly doing so in order to rig elections against President Donald Trump and other Republicans.
Rios began Wednesday’s edition of “Sandy Rios in the Morning” on American Family Radio speaking about efforts underway in Congress to pass an economic stimulus package to alleviate the negative effects the coronavirus has had on the nation’s economy. Unlike some of her religious-right counterparts, Rios made it clear she believes that “people are dying, and the disease is real,” but she insisted that people who don’t watch conservative news channels were not receiving “the whole story.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress have sought to include provisions in the stimulus package that would allow every eligible voter to be able to vote by mail, so voters would not have to make a choice between potential exposure to coronavirus and participating in democracy. Rios told her audience that these measures were “the most damaging” things that Democrats have included in their stimulus proposals and claimed they involved sinister motivations.
Rios cited a liberal fundraising letter that she said stated that unless everyone can vote by mail, “millions of Democrats could be afraid to vote in-person, and Trump will be reelected.” Rios said that the mailer was sent by an organization that aims to increase turnout among Democratic voters.
“They’re very anxious to pass this, and they want to hold the Republicans hostage unless they will agree to sign off on universal vote-by-mail,” Rios said. “Now, vote-by-mail, who do you think is going to be voting? How do you know they’re going to be citizens? How do you know that they’re going to be voting their own ballot? How do you know that Democrats are not going to be harvesting these ballots as they did in the last election? You see the picture. You get the drift, right?”
She urged her listeners to call their representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose the vote-by-mail proposition. Complaints of voter fraud are common among conservatives, despite a lack of proof that it’s a widespread problem.
Earlier in the program, Rios argued that cable news networks were inaccurately comparing how the coronavirus is spreading in the United States to how it has spread in Italy, citing a segment she watched featuring right-wing pundit Liz Wheeler on the pro-Trump channel One America News Network. She departed from sharing Wheeler’s argument to share her own, remarking that she didn’t believe Italy was “a very clean country” unlike the United States and Germany supposedly were before immigrants came to the countries.
“We have a higher level of this personal cleanliness—at least we did before we had overwhelming numbers of immigrants from other parts of the world who don’t understand Western hygiene,” Rios said. “For the most part, we still teach our kids to wash their hands and brush their teeth and use good bathroom hygiene.”