Pence, Top Trump Aides Often Vote Absentee

Vice president still uses address of Indiana governor's residence, records show
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2020 6:30 PM CDT
Regular Absentee Voters Include Pence
Vice President Mike Pence waves to the crowd Saturday during a campaign rally in Tulsa.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – Vice President Mike Pence and a half-dozen senior advisers to President Trump have repeatedly voted by mail, election records obtained by the AP show. That undercuts the president's argument that the practice will lead to widespread fraud this November. More than three years after leaving it, Pence still lists the Indiana governor's home as his official residence and votes absentee accordingly. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has permanent absentee voting status in her home state of Michigan. Brad Parscale, Trump's campaign manager, voted absentee in Texas in 2018 and didn't vote two years earlier when Trump's name was on the ballot. Two other senior Trump campaign officials—chief operating officer Michael Glassner and deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien—have repeatedly voted by mail in New Jersey. And Nick Ayers, a senior campaign adviser who was the vice president's chief of staff, has voted by mail in Georgia since 2014.

In most election years, voting by mail is an unremarkable event. But Trump has railed against state efforts to expand access to mail-in voting as an alternative to waiting in lines at polling places during a pandemic. He has argued without evidence that mail-in voting will lead to fraud and warned Monday that foreign countries could print ballots. That, some experts say, is a double standard that amounts to voter suppression. "These are people who are taking advantage of—which is perfectly legal—their right to vote absentee," said Trevor Potter of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. "But they don’t want other people to do the same thing." Trump himself voted by mail in the Florida primary this year. And Attorney General William Barr, who has also raised concern about the practice, voted absentee in Virginia in 2012 and 2019, the Washington Post reported. Tim Murtaugh of the Trump campaign defended the Trump aides who have voted by mail.

(Read more absentee balloting stories.)

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