In yet another act to spread misinformation, Trump told North Carolina residents on Wednesday to attempt to illegally vote twice as a test of the security of the election process. Trump’s encouragement for North Carolinians to vote twice is an attempt to “sow chaos” in the state’s election, according to the state attorney general.
Top election officials and political experts have condemned Trump’s comment that would violate North Carolina law. State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell emphasized that voting twice in an election is considered a Class I felony in North Carolina.
Voting more than once is also illegal under federal law.
From The New York Times:
Trump has repeatedly made false claims about widespread fraud in mail voting. With his advisers trying to tell him that he’s scaring his own supporters, including older voters, with his broad condemnations, he has sought to draw a distinction between universal mail voting and more limited absentee voting in which the person is away from home or has a disability.
But even as he has made such distinctions, he has continued to float wild theories about extensive voter fraud that are not backed up by evidence. He has repeatedly detailed far-fetched, seemingly manufactured stories about ballots being forged.
The attorney general, William P. Barr, declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s suggestion on Wednesday.
“We haven’t had the kind of widespread use of mail-in ballots that’s being proposed,” Mr. Barr said, adding that he wasn’t familiar with the specifics of North Carolina’s voting laws.
States have long used a number of measures to guard against double voting. Patrick Gannon, a spokesman for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, said the system in North Carolina would prevent a person from voting twice, because only the first vote recorded would be counted.
If a person has already mailed in an absentee ballot and goes to the polls on Election Day, records will show poll workers that the person has already voted, Mr. Gannon said. Or, if a person votes on Election Day and officials later receive that person’s absentee ballot, it will be “spoiled” and not counted, he said.
“Intentional willful double voting is a felony,” Mr. Gannon added.
He encouraged voters to request absentee ballots, send them in and track them on the elections board’s website.
Twitter on Thursday flagged two of Trump’s tweets for violating its Civic Integrity Policy by “encouraging people to potentially vote twice” in the November election.
This comes as Trump has repeatedly made false claims about widespread fraud in mail voting that are not backed up by evidence.
According to Karen Brinson Bell, North Carolina has numerous checks in place that prevent people from double voting. Electronic poll books with information about who has already voted are used at every early voting site.
There are also several ways for voters to check the status of their mail-in ballot, including a new tool that allows voters to track absentee ballots through the system and confirm that their local board of elections has received it.
Bottom Line: Trump openly encouraging his supporters to commit felony voter fraud in the 2020 election shows the lengths this administration is willing to go to disenfranchise voters.