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Trump Reverses Himself on Voting by Mail, Kind Of

President says it's fine to do in Florida
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2020 12:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump is OK with voting by mail ... in one state, at least. "Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True," he tweeted Tuesday. "Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA." It's quite a shift from his typical stance on mail-in voting, which he has for weeks claimed will lead to voter fraud—CNN calls it "one of the most epic reversals in recent political history." But he has said in the past that he is OK with absentee voting, and a spokesperson for his campaign said that's what the tweet reflects: "What most states call ‘absentee voting’ has long been termed ‘vote-by-mail’ in Florida—it’s been that way for years, and it works,” she said.

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“President Trump is fighting to make sure every valid vote counts—the exact opposite of what’s happened in New York’s and California’s train wreck primaries, where we saw Democrats’ rush to implement a faulty universal vote-by-mail system," the campaign statement continued. At a White House briefing later Tuesday, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany added that Trump has "been unmistakably clear that when you have this mass mail-out voting like what Nevada wants to do, the consequences are real." (PolitiFact said last month that "there is no objective difference between absentee voting and voting by mail.") The Hill notes that some on the right are concerned Trump's harping on mail-in voting will end up suppressing the GOP vote, and adds that polls show Trump lagging behind Biden in Florida, a battleground state. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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