When asked by North Carolina news station WECT whether he was confident in the state's absentee voting system, President Trump on Wednesday appeared to suggest that, in order to test said system, voters should attempt to vote twice and see how it goes. His answer:
- "Well, they'll go out and they'll vote and they're going to have to go and check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates then they won’t be able to do that. So, let 'em send it in and let 'em go vote. And if their system's as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote (at the poll). If it isn’t tabulated, they'll be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do. I don’t like the idea of these unsolicited votes. I never did. It leads to a lot of problems. They’ve got 11 problems already on very small contests. I’m not happy about it. At the same time, we’re in court with a lot of it. We’re going to see if it can be stopped. But send in your ballots, send 'em in strong, whether it's solicited or unsolicited. The absentees are fine, we have to work to get 'em, you know, it means something. And you send 'em in, but you go to vote. And if they haven't counted it, you can vote. So, that's the way I view it."
CNN notes that in North Carolina, it's a felony to intentionally vote twice in the same election, and the New York Times calls Trump's suggestion "the kind of voter fraud he has railed against." A state official says "we'd strongly advise against" anyone who has already cast an absentee ballot going to the polls to vote again. He also explained that voters can check their absentee ballot's status in three different ways. Trump made a similar suggestion to Nevada residents last month, amid a longstanding campaign against widespread mail-in voting, which he claims will lead to election fraud. Per NBC News, a Trump campaign spokesperson says Trump is not encouraging that voters vote illegally a second time: "President Trump encourages supporters to vote absentee-by-mail early, and then show up in person at the polls or the local registrar to verify that their vote has already been counted. It’s amazing that the media can go from insisting that voter fraud doesn’t exist to screaming about it when President Trump points out the giant holes in the Democrats’ voting schemes." (Read more Election 2020 stories.)