Donald Trump Says Voting By Mail Is “Safe And Secure” — At Least, In Florida
Donald Trump has railed against the idea of allowing U.S. citizens to send their votes in by mail, insisting that making voting easier will ensure Republicans can’t win, and also claiming that mailed votes will be tainted by fraud. He’s also repeatedly described mail-in voting as something separate from absentee ballots, although in many states the names are used interchangeably.
In a tweet Monday, Trump did an about-face — at least, for one state. Florida, he says, can go forward with mailed ballots safely, and he encourages everyone in Florida to request their ballot and vote by mail. He suggests this is specifically an option for Florida, as opposed to nationwide, because the state has “defeated Democrats’ attempts at change” and “cleaned up” their voting system. Trump cast his own absentee ballot in Florida, in the 2020 primary election.
Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. 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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
This comes after the Trump campaign was called out for hypocrisy. While Trump tweeted that mailed ballots would ruin the election and ensure rampant fraud, his campaign sent out messages to voters encouraging them to request an absentee ballot, and assuming them it would be safe and secure. The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, recorded a robocall that the RNC sent out to voters in California, saying in part, “..you can safely and securely vote…by returning your mail-in ballot.” Mailers have also been sent out to Trump supporters in other states, such as Pennsylvania, encouraging Republicans to vote by mail.
His tweet also suggests that Trump understands ‘vote by mail’ and ‘absentee ballots’ are typically used interchangeably. He has previously suggested they’re not the same at all.
Absentee Ballots are a great way to vote for the many senior citizens, military, and others who can’t get to the polls on Election Day. These ballots are very different from 100% Mail-In Voting, which is “RIPE for FRAUD,” and shouldn’t be allowed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2020
According to Vote.org, only 17 states currently require voters to give an excuse or explanation (such as hospitalization or deployment outside the country) for voting by mail, and five states hold their elections entirely by mail. In the remaining 28 states and D.C., anyone can request an absentee ballot, without stating a reason.