After suggesting that North Carolina voters should vote twice in the upcoming presidential election, President Donald Trump seems to be offering some clarification. Just a day after making the concerning remarks, which encouraged election fraud, Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to encourage voters to ensure their "precious vote has been counted."
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. On Election Day, or Early Voting,..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020
In a series of three tweets, the president, who has, for months now, expressed unfounded concerns regarding mail-in ballots, told voters to send in their mail-in ballots as soon as possible. He then advised that they "go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted)." The president noted that if a vote has been counted, "you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly." However, "if it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen’s right to do)."
The president went on to write that should a mail-in ballot arrive after someone has already voted in person, it will not be counted. He said that by going through this process, "YOU ARE NOW ASSURED THAT YOUR PRECIOUS VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED, it hasn't been 'lost, thrown out, or in any way destroyed'."
....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!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020
His tweets came less than 24 hours after he sparked outcry over his remarks made in Wilmington, North Carolina. Speaking with a crowd of supporters, the president encouraged them to vote twice in the 2020 presidential election – once by mail and once in person – as a test of mail-in ballots. He claimed that "if the system is as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote." During his remarks, however, the president did not tell voters to verify their mailed-in ballots were tabulated and instead urged them to mail in their ballots and then attempt to vote in person.
Those comments were downplayed by White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who said that the president was "not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful." Attorney General Bill Barr, meanwhile, said that he was unsure "what the law in the particular state says" when questioned about the legality of voting twice. In all 50 states, it is illegal to vote twice.
In response to the remarks, Karen Brinson Bell, the executive director of the North Carolina board of elections, released a statement reminding voters that "it is illegal to vote twice in an election." The statement added that "attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law."