Vice President Mike Pence bizarrely encouraged Americans to apply to vote absentee while also railing against mail-in voting on Monday night even though 1) they’re functionally the same thing and 2) President Donald Trump has attacked states for making it easier to apply for absentee ballots amid COVID-19.
“Absentee balloting is perfectly acceptable,” Pence declared during an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
The vice president described how those who wish to vote absentee “have to apply for an absentee ballot,” “signatures are checked,” and the ballots are “confirmed”–aka processes that mail-in ballots also go through for verification.
“And we want to encourage any American that is not able to go to the polling place for any reason to apply for an absentee ballot today,” Pence said.
“But this universal mail-in voting, where you’re going to see literally ballots showered all across the state, is ripe for fraud,” he added, peddling a false claim that has been thoroughly debunked by election officials and voting experts alike. “And we are headed straight to the courts to put a stop to it.”
Yet Trump’s fixation on delegitimizing states’ vote-by-mail initiatives includes attacks against state election officials who have sent registered voters applications to vote absentee, which both necessarily requires people to vote by mail and also eases the process of applying for an absentee ballot–the very thing Pence is encouraging “any American” to do.
Watch Pence below:
Pence: Mail-in ballots are bad but also “we want to encourage” people to apply for an absentee ballot.
(Absentee ballots are sent by mail) pic.twitter.com/MRTHy7Cvei
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 4, 2020