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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Trump seemingly encourages North Carolina residents to try to vote twice


President Donald Trump encouraged North Carolina residents to attempt to vote both via the mail and in person, seemingly urging them to commit voter fraud as a test of mail-in voting systems in a trip to the state on Wednesday.

“They are going to have to 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,” he said in an interview with the Wilmington, N.C.-based WECT. “So let them send it in, and let them go vote. 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 will be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do.”

Trump was responding to a question from a reporter who noted that as many as 600,000 people could vote absentee in the state, asking if he was confident in the system.

In North Carolina state law, it is a felony for “for any person with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time, or to induce another to do so.” Voting more than once is also illegal under federal law.

Trump has repeatedly denigrated mail-in voting, saying without evidence that it is ripe for widespread fraud. Trump has repeatedly said he supports absentee voting over universal mail-in systems, where ballots are mailed to voters regardless of if they request them or not.

However Trump also said he did not like the fact that 600,000 people in the state could vote absentee, despite the fact that voters in North Carolina have to request an absentee ballot in order to get one.

“I don’t like the idea of these unsolicited votes,” he said in the interview with WECT.

The majority of states will not be mailing unsolicited ballots to voters. Five states do it as a regular course: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Four states — California, Nevada, New Jersey and Vermont — along with the District of Columbia, plan on mailing voters ballots in response to the pandemic. Montana has left that decision up to individual counties for November.

The Trump campaign and the RNC have sued nearly every state that has tried to add universal mail-in voting for November due to the pandemic. Republicans in Montana filed suit on Wednesday, looking to block Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s directive that allows counties to make that determination.



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