Trump’s Remark on Voting Twice Sparks Condemnation
Speaking in a local television interview on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, in Wilmington, North Carolina, US President Donald Trump put that the voters of the state should try to vote twice in the November 3 election, by mail as well as in person. Trump’s statement shocked Americans since it has triggered and encouraged people to indulge in fraud voting, which was condemned by political leaders from the Democratic Party.
Voting through the mail has been widely considered to be a viable option for people to cast vote without risking for the virus infection. However, Trump has repeatedly argued, without any substantial evidence, that mail-in voting could be manipulated and would increase voter fraud in the November election. Experts have suggested that voter fraud is extremely rare and the United States (US) has been practicing mail-in voting especially for old people for ages. As per the 2016 election data, nearly one in four voters cast presidential ballots by mail.
Following the widespread uproar, White House spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News Channel on Thursday, “The president is not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful,” adding that, “What he said very clearly there is make sure your vote is tabulated and if it is not, then vote.”
Trump made the provoking statement on Wednesday in his campaign in North Carolina, known as a battleground state because it is a highly swing state that plays a vital role in presidential elections. Trump said, “Let them send it in and let them go vote. And if the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote” in person. Ballots are due to be mailed in North Carolina on Friday.
Confirming his remark, Trump repeatedly urged on Thursday his voters to go voting twice by suggesting that “You have to make sure your vote counts” and alleged that Democrats would try to steal voting by manipulating the mail-in vote.
On Thursday morning, Trump wrote in a tweet, “On Election Day, or Early Voting go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail-In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted). If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail-In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE.” As per national opinion polls, Trump is currently trailing his rival Democratic candidate, Joe Biden who was working as the vice president in the Obama government.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) condemned Trump’s statement and accused him of misguiding people that would possibly undermine the fairness of the election. Reyna Walters-Morgan, the DNC’s director of voter protection, said in a statement, “Let’s be clear: Voting by mail is a safe and secure way for Americans to participate in our democracy — and Trump should be working to make it easier to vote, not harder.”
Terming voting twice is illegal, State Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat wrote on Twitter that the Republican president had “outrageously encouraged” voters of North Carolinians “to break the law in order to help him sow chaos in our election.” Stein added, “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.”
Patrick Gannon, a spokesman for North Carolina’s State Board of Elections, said a person would not be able to cast two ballots and stated, “Voting twice in an election is a felony.” Meanwhile, Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. (Facebook) placed a warning label on Trump’s post for violating civic rules and election integrity rules. Facebook said, “Voting by mail has a long history of trustworthiness in the US and the same is predicted this year.”