US President Donald Trump has urged residents of the critical North Carolina political battlefield to vote twice in the November 3rd elections, once by mail and once in person, and to stir up excitement over possible election fraud.
“Let them send it in and vote,” Trump said in an interview with WECT-TV in Wilmington, North Carolina on Wednesday. “And if the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote personally.”
Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in votes – which have been expanded by some states due to the coronavirus pandemic – would increase fraud and disrupt November elections, despite experts say electoral fraud of any kind is extreme in the United States is rare.
Voting more than once in an election is illegal, and in some states, including North Carolina, it is a crime not only to vote more than once but to induce another to vote.
The ballot papers are due out on Friday in North Carolina.
Democratic attorney general Josh Stein wrote on Twitter that the Republican president had “outrageously encouraged” the North Carolinians to break the law to help him wreak havoc in our elections. “
Stein wrote, “Make sure you vote, but DO NOT vote twice! I will do everything in my power to ensure that the will of the people is upheld in November.”
Trump’s campaign and the White House later denied that he wanted to tell people to vote twice.
“The president doesn’t suggest anyone do anything illegal,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News Channel on Thursday. “What he said very clearly there is to make sure that your vote is tabulated. If it is not, vote.”
However, in a series of tweets on Thursday morning, Trump again urged his supporters to vote early by mail and then try to vote in person.
“On election day or on an early vote, go to your polling station to see whether or not your mail-in vote was tabulated (counted),” Trump wrote. “If so, you will not be able to vote and the mail-in system was working properly. If it was not counted, you are voting.”
Twitter Inc later warned the Tweets of violations of the Citizens’ Integrity and Election Rules. Facebook Inc also put a new label on Trump’s post that said, “Email votes have a long history of trustworthiness in the US and the same is forecast for this year.”
Facebook also said it would remove Trump’s video about voting twice if people shared it with no subtitles or context or in support of what the president was saying. A spokesman told Reuters on Thursday afternoon that he had not yet identified or removed such versions of the video.
Choose “A Felony” twice
The Democratic National Committee accused Trump of promoting electoral fraud and said the president was undermining confidence in the fairness of the elections.
“Let’s be clear: voting by mail is a safe way for Americans to participate in our democracy – and Trump should work to make voting easier, not harder,” said Reyna Walters-Morgan, DNC director for Voter protection. said in a statement.
Patrick Gannon, a spokesman for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, said a person could not cast two ballots, whether they voted by mail or in person. The first vote that comes in and is processed counts, he said.
“Voting twice in an election is a crime,” said Gannon. “If you send a ballot paper by post and it has not yet arrived and you then vote in person before your postal ballot has arrived, your personal vote counts.”
He said if a postal ballot showed up after a person voted in person, it would not be counted.
Many Americans vote by mail because they can’t make it to the polls. In 2016, almost one in four voters cast the president’s postal vote.
The coronavirus pandemic is expected to result in a record number of postal ballots this year as voters try to avoid the risk of infection. Experts have warned of the expected surge, which means a winner may not be clear on election night as it takes time to count and review all of the ballots.
Trump fought Wednesday in North Carolina, known as the battlefield state, because its people can swing to either Republicans or Democrats and play a pivotal role in the presidential election.
National opinion polls show that Trump, 74, is lagging behind his Democratic rival Joe Biden (77), the vice-president under then-President Barack Obama. Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to suppress the vote to help their side.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)