President Trump encouraged voters to make sure “your precious vote has been counted,” a day after he appeared to tell his supporters in North Carolina to commit election fraud by voting twice — once by mail and then again in-person at the polls on Election Day.
“Based on the massive number of Unsolicited & Solicited Ballots that will be sent to potential Voters for the upcoming 2020 Election, & in order for you to MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS & IS COUNTED, SIGN & MAIL IN your Ballot as EARLY as possible,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.
“On Election Day, or Early Voting, go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted),” the president continued. “If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen’s right to do).”
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Trump concluded: “If your Mail In Ballot arrives after you Vote, which it should not, that Ballot will not be used or counted in that your vote has already been cast & tabulated. YOU ARE NOW ASSURED THAT YOUR PRECIOUS VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED, it hasn’t been “lost, thrown out, or in any way destroyed”. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!”
The tweets came after Trump on Wednesday spoked in an on-camera interview about his concerns over potential election fraud amid an increase in mail-in voting sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Critics accused the president of telling Americans to vote twice ‒ once by mail, and a second time by casting their votes at the polls ‒ in order to test the veracity of the system.
“Let them send it in and let them go vote,” Trump said in an interview with WECT-TV in Wilmington, N.C., when asked about the security of mail-in votes. “And if their system is 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. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do.”
“I don’t like the idea of these unsolicited votes. I never did. It leads to a lot of problems. They’ve got 11 problems already on very small contests. I’m not happy about it. At the same time, we’re in court with a lot of it. We’re going to see if it can be stopped,” the president told WECT’s Jon Evans standing in front of Air Force One shortly after arriving at Wilmington International Airport.
“But send your ballots, send them in strong, whether it’s solicited or unsolicited. The absentees are fine. But go to vote and if they haven’t counted it, you can vote. That’s the way I view it.”
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Voting twice in the same election is against the law.
“You can’t let them take your vote away. These people are playing dirty politics. So if you have an absentee ballot, or as I call it, a solicited ballot, you send it in. But I would check it in any event. Go and follow it and go vote,” Trump later told a crowd of reporters.
Trump visited Wilmington on Wednesday to officially designate the nation’s first World War II Heritage City.
“Today, President Trump outrageously encouraged NCians to break the law in order to help him sow chaos in our election,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein tweeted Wednesday. “Make sure you vote, but do NOT vote twice! I will do everything in my power to make sure the will of the people is upheld in November.”
“Casting two ballots is illegal,” the ACLU tweeted. “Don’t listen to the President.”
U.S. Attorney General William Barr was asked about Trump’s remarks during his appearance on CNN Wednesday night.
“He’s trying to make the point that the ability to monitor the system is not good. And, if it was so good, if you tried to vote a second time, you would be caught,” Barr said, referencing the president. When CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked whether it was illegal to vote twice in an election, Barr responded: “I don’t know what the law in that particular state says.”
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The North Carolina Board of Elections has not returned a Fox News request for comment.