President Donald Trump tweeted to his followers Thursday that they should sign and send in mail ballots ‘as EARLY as possible’ – then go to polling places on Election Day to make sure it was received.
His pitch, made in a series of linked tweets, came a day after he told supporters in North Carolina to vote twice, once by mail and then in person as a way to see if the system is working.
‘Based on the massive number of Unsolicited & Solicited Ballots that will be sent to potential Voters for the upcoming 2020 Election, & in order for you to MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS & IS COUNTED, SIGN & MAIL IN your Ballot as EARLY as possible,’ Trump wrote.
‘On Election Day, or Early Voting,’ he continued, ‘go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted). If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen’s right to do),’ Trump advised.
‘If your Mail In Ballot arrives … after you Vote, which it should not, that Ballot will not be used or counted in that your vote has already been cast & tabulated. YOU ARE NOW ASSURED THAT YOUR PRECIOUS VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED, it hasn’t been “lost, thrown out, or in any way destroyed”. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!’
The online guidance from the president to his millions of followers came a day after Trump floated an idea to supporters Wednesday that they vote twice – once by mail and once by person – to see if mail-in balloting is working.
President Trump on a trip to Wilmington Wednesday told supporters they should vote once by mail and once in person
‘So let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote,’ Trump suggested to a crowd gathered at the airport in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he had traveled to pay tribute to the city’s World War II history.
It would be considered voter fraud for people to knowingly vote twice in an election.
Attorney General Bill Barr got asked about the statement in a CNN interview Wednesday night.
I don’t know exactly what he was saying,’ Barr said. He said Trump was ‘trying to make the point’ that the ability to monitor the system is not good.
‘I don’t know what the law in the particular state says,’ Barr said
‘It may be you can change your vote up to a particular time. I don’t know what the law is’ in various states, said Barr.
Karen Brinson Bell, the head of the North Carolina State Board of Elections issued a statement with a message to state voters Thursday following Trump’s statements on voting.
‘It is illegal to vote twice in an election,’ she wrote. She provided the state law citation which ‘makes it a Class 1 felony for a voter, “with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote a more than one precinct or more than one time … in the same primary or election.”’
The statement says absentee ballots should be counted by Election Day. Absentee ballots that are not received ‘are not counted until after the election, and this prevents double voting,’ she said.’
‘If someone tries to get around the system, their ballot can be retrieved and not counted, so it will not affect the outcome of the election.’
President Trump spoke to a crowd of supporters on the tarmac in Wilmington, North Carolina, saying he expected to again win the state and South Carolina, Georgia and New Hampshire while he believed Michigan and also Minnesota were in reach
Trump’s comments were the latest the president has made to sow confusion about the mail-in voting process, something he previously confessed could give Democrats an edge.
Democrats have been pushing for more mail-in voting options due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Trump arrived in Wilmington Wednesday and twice talked to hundreds of supporters who had awaited his arrival.
They packed in behind metal fences and very few wore masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Trump called the election the most important ever.
‘Because we’re running against people that have some big issues, ‘he said. ‘They’ve got some big, big problems. They’re stone-cold crazy. As you know Joe Biden, he doesn’t have a clue, we can’t let it happen to our country,’ the president said.
Out of earshot from the White House pool, Trump engaged with a local journalist who had informed him that 600,000 voters in North Carolina could vote absentee.
‘I don’t like that,’ Trump said, according to NBC News.
‘If it’s as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote. So that’s the way it is. And that’s what they should do,’ Trump also told the crowd.
North Carolina is a key swing state that helped Trump win the White House over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
He predicted to the crowd that it would happen again.
So we’re going to win North Carolina, we’re going to win South Carolina, we’re going to win Georgia, we’re going to win New Hampshire,’ Trump said.
He won all the southern states in 2016, but came up short in New Hampshire despite winning there in the GOP primary.
‘We just got a great poll from Michigan,’ Trump added.
Michigan, along with Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, were the three states that Trump surprisingly won to win the White House.
‘Minnesota looks like it’s really good, it hasn’t been won since 1972 by a Republican,’ the president added.
Minnesota remained blue in the last election but has become a target for the Trump campaign especially in light of the unrest in Minneapolis following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.
Trump has been campaigning hard against the riots caused when ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests have gotten out of control, basing his 2020 campaign around the theme of ‘law and order.’