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Big Picture

Maybe this is the best ad of the whole 2020 campaign

Griffiths is the editor of Independent Voter News, where a version of this story first appeared.

Voters are constantly inundated with the back and forth mudslinging between candidates of the two major parties. The rhetoric on the campaign trail, on the airwaves and on social media has spiraled down to dangerously toxic levels, and things are only getting worse.

And in the middle of that vortex now stand the two people who want to be Utah's next governor. In some of the most alarming footage of this extraordinary political year, they're appearing on camera together in hopes of showing the country that there is a better way.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump explaining to reporters Wednesday his plan to prevent widespread absentee balloting by denying additional funding to the Postal Service.

Trump says sabotaging mail vote is his reason for blocking USPS bailout

With bombast, exaggeration and outright falsehoods, President Trump has made perfectly clear for months his view that expanded mail voting will assure the election is rigged against him. He's taken a fresh tack in the past 24 hours: Declaring that he's committed to defunding the Postal Service so it can't handle the coming surge of ballot envelopes.

His remarks to reporters Wednesday evening, which he expanded on Thursday, marked Trump's first explicit commitment to starve the cash-strapped USPS, still a backbone of the American economy, in order to do what he asserts is best for his own re-election prospects — not for smoothing the exercise of electoral democracy during a national crisis.

Trump said he is not willing to negotiate on either the $25 billion infusion the Postal Service says it needs to keep up with its workload starting in October — when the volume of absentee applications and completed vote-by-mail ballots will start to peak — or the $3.5 billion states say they need to conduct healthy, comprehensive and reliable elections during the pandemic.

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Utah primary

Utah holds its state primaries.


The Utah Republican Party explains the use of ranked-choice voting in the primary.

How election innovations in Utah protected citizens and their democracy

Hladick is the policy manager at Unite America, which promotes an array of electoral reforms and helps finance other advocacy organizations, and political candidates, with a commitment to cross-partisanship. (It is a donor to The Fulcrum.)

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