President Donald Trump, a repeated absentee voter, broke with tradition on Saturday by appearing at library in Florida’s Palm Beach County to cast his ballot in person, a move that comes after repeatedly condemning mail-in voting.
“It was a very secure vote, much more secure than when you send in a ballot,” Trump said on Saturday according to NPR, after telling reporters that he had “voted for a guy named Trump.”
Vice President Mike Pence also voted early a day earlier in Indianapolis.
President Trump has repeatedly voted by mail in the past — voting absentee in New York in 2018 and in Florida’s March primary. After months of criticizing vote-by-mail, Trump even requested a mail-in ballot for Florida’s primary election that was sent to his Mar-a-Lago residence in August and flip-flopped about the safety of mail-in voting in the battleground state.
President Trump has railed against efforts by Democrats and voting rights advocates to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic — often peddling the false claim that ballots cast by mail will cause a “rigged” election overwhelmed by “fraud.”
After voting, President Trump boasted that he was headed to big rallies which — even as he slides in national polls — he said have recently welcomed large crowds, the Associated Press reported. The President has previously been criticized for hosting large gathering where masks are often not worn and social-distancing guidelines are not followed — the issue becomes particularly critical amid back-to-back record-shattering single day highs for new coronavirus cases on Thursday and Friday.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told a drive-in rally outside Philadelphia that he didn’t like “all this distance” but said it was necessary amid the coronavirus pandemic.
”We don’t want to become super-spreaders,” Biden said, according to AP, in an apparent jab at President Trump who hosted a ceremony at the White House last month for his Supreme Court nominee which appeared to result in a number of COVID-19 cases.