President Donald Trump has requested a mail-in ballot ahead of Florida’s primary election next week, in spite of repeatedly railing against and trying to discredit the practice in recent months as part of a campaign tactic.
USA Today was the first to report that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will cast ballots by mail as Palm Beach County voters.
According to the Palm Beach County elections website, the President made the request for the ballot on Wednesday.
The news comes after a months-long effort by the President to discredit the practice of voting by mail. The practice has been used effectively to the exclusion of in-person voting in some states, and has been expanded in others in recent months to encourage safe voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Although many elections experts have said there is no real difference between absentee voting and no-excuse mail voting, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told CNN that “the President supports absentee voting, not universal mail-in voting, which contain several safeguards that prevent fraud and abuse.”
While for months, Trump pushed a wholesale attack on mail-in voting, falsely claiming that it promoted fraud, he recently reversed those claims, suggesting in a tweet earlier this month that it was a “Safe and Secure” practice that had been “cleaned up” in GOP-led states like Florida.
The President even appeared to admit in the tweet, that the terms “absentee” and “vote-by-mail” — which he had differentiated to justify his own absentee voting in the past — were interchangeable.
“Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting,” Trump wrote at the time, “in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True.”
Earlier this week, the President repeatedly suggested in news conferences and interviews that he has intentionally blocked the much-needed additional funding proposal from Congressional Democrats for the US Postal Service to aid in election mail delivery in an effort that could amount to voter suppression.