President Trump wants his supporters to be like Santa: make a ballot, and check it twice.
Trump urged voters in North Carolina to mail their ballots in early — and to make their way to the polls on election day to vote again if their mail votes are not recorded.
“NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!”
The tweet echoed a similar message the president gave during remarks in Wilmington, N.C., last week — during which critics accused him of urging people to vote twice.
His Saturday tweet was promptly flagged by Twitter as a violation of their platform terms of service.
“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” read a message affixed to the top of the post. The tweet is now hidden on Trump’s timeline where additional steps are required to view it.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein also offered a stern rebuke to the president, urging Tar Heel residents not to heed his advice.
“NORTH CAROLINA: Do NOT do what the President directs. To make sure your ballot COUNTS, sign and send it in EARLY. Then track it ONLINE with BALLOTTRAX. Do NOT vote twice (it’s a felony), or waste your time, or unnecessarily risk exposure to more people,” he said.
However, North Carolina election law does permit voters to cast in-person provisional ballots on Election Day if their eligibility status is in question — including the situation that Trump described. Neither Trump nor Stein mentioned the provisional balloting system in their tweets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed a growing number of states to embrace mail in voting. Many outside observers have sounded the alarm about the possibility of election fraud and mail tampering. A New Jersey Democratic operative who recently spoke to the Post says he has been doing it for years in the Garden State and it’s a real risk in 2020.
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