US President Donald Trump has proposed that voters in North Carolina cast their ballots twice to test the state’s mail-in voting system, prompting criticism that he promoted the same “fraud” his detractors insist was impossible.
“Well, they’ll go out and they’ll vote, and they’re going to have to go check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way, because if it tabulates, then they won’t be able to do that,” the president told reporters during a visit to North Carolina on Wednesday when asked about his confidence in mail-in voting.
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. That’s the way it is.
While election laws differ from state to state, ‘double voting’ is generally prohibited and is listed as a felony in some locations. It is also barred under a federal statute, which threatens violators with a fine of up to $10,000 and a five-year prison bid.
President Trump has regularly railed against universal mail-in ballots as the coronavirus pandemic drives a shift away from in-person voting, warning the system will be fraught with problems and encourage massive fraud. He has at times pointed to New York’s recent Democratic primary as an example, which relied heavily on mail-in voting and experienced major delays, calling it a “disaster” after tens of thousands of ballots were lost or thrown out for formatting errors.
Asked about Trump’s remarks in North Carolina by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Attorney General Bill Barr said the president was merely making a point about the difficulty of monitoring a universal mail-in system.
“Well I don’t know exactly what he was saying, but it seems to me… he’s trying to make the point that the ability to monitor this system is not good, and if it’s so good, if you try to vote a second time you would be caught,” Barr said.
Taken as a prescription for voters to commit fraud, the president’s musings also prompted the ACLU, as well as Harvard legal scholar Laurence Tribe, to weigh in, both reminding that it is against the law to vote twice.
Others also rushed to denounce the suggestion, one saying Trump “is openly encouraging people to commit felonies” while asking if he would pardon those who take his advice.
Let. This. Sink. In.The “president” of the United States encouraged his voters to vote twice and the Attorney General refused to admit it was against the law.Yeah. That happened today.https://t.co/bcJTb9Cuhr
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) September 3, 2020
Trump is openly encouraging people to commit felonies. Is he including a guaranteed pardon with this ask?Trump encourages North Carolina residents to vote twice to test mail-in systemhttps://t.co/qnrPojGrRe
— Gregg Housh (@GreggHoush) September 3, 2020
Trump suggests voting twice, once by mail and once in person, encourages violating law. “Intentionally voting twice is illegal, and in many states, including North Carolina, it is a felony.” https://t.co/WQGrx2Xd5R
— PETER MAER (@petermaer) September 3, 2020
A Trump campaign official, Tim Murtaugh, clarified the president’s remarks in a statement to NBC later on Wednesday, saying the commander in chief “encourages supporters to vote absentee-by-mail early, and then show up in person at the polls or the local registrar to verify that their vote has already been counted.”
It’s amazing that the media can go from insisting that voter fraud doesn’t exist to screaming about it when President Trump points out the giant holes in the Democrats’ voting schemes.
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