President Donald Trump urged voters on Wednesday to attempt to vote twice, casting a ballot by mail and another in person in an illegal move that further mobilizes his widespread attack on the legitimacy of voting in the upcoming elections.
“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 told a local reporter in North Carolina during an interview when asked about mail-in ballots.
The remarks add fuel to the President’s ongoing false narrative that the November elections will be rigged and that voting by mail contributes to overwhelming fraud.
By suggesting a double vote, the President has essentially urged voters to commit an illegal act that in many states — including battleground North Carolina — is a felony.
The President echoed the directive to vote more than once while greeting supporters in Wilmington, North Carolina. He told them to send in their ballot “and then go in and vote.”
“So send it in early and then go and vote,” Trump said. “You can’t let them take your vote away; these people are playing dirty politics.”
Trump urged the voters to send in their absentee ballot and then to “check it, follow it and go vote.”
Trump has used his attack on mail-in voting as a tactical move to try to dissuade voters from casting their ballot and sow doubt about the legitimacy of an election that will use vote-by-mail to enable voters to mitigate concerns about the coronavirus by avoiding the polls on Election Day.
Hours later, Attorney General William Barr when asked about Trump’s comments appeared to reinforce them claiming that the practice of voting by mail “is very open to fraud and coercion, is reckless and dangerous, and people are playing with fire.”
The remarks sharply contrast the sentiments of many Democratic and Republican lawmakers who have endorsed voting by mail as safe and secure.
Last month, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) a lawmaker in a state where voting by mail is universal, touted the practice as likely “more secure” than voting in-person.
In an analysis of three states with universal mail-in voting from the 2016 and 2018 general elections, the Washington Post found that officials had reported a mere 372 possible cases of double voting or voting on behalf of deceased people out of about 14.6 million votes cast –a figure that represents 0.0025 percent.