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North Carolina’s Attorney General Urges Residents to Ignore Donald Trump Because Voting Twice Is a Felony

North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein warned voters on Saturday against following President Donald Trump’s advice that they should vote twice – by mail and in person – because doing so is a felony.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Trump has maintained the lie that mail-in voting is ripe with fraud and has been encouraging voters to cast their ballots twice.

Tens of millions of Americans are expected to vote by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has already infected 6.5 million, killed 194,000, and is anticipated to worsen as the election draws near.

“NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY. When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED,” Trump wrote on Twitter, which flagged it for violating its terms of use. Again. “IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!”

Stein urged his state’s residents to ignore the president in a series of tweets directed at Trump and his followers and provided instructions on how to ensure that every voter gets their say.

“NORTH CAROLINA: Do NOT do what the President directs,” Stein wrote. “To make sure your ballot COUNTS, sign and send it in EARLY. Then track it ONLINE with BALLOTTRAX. Do NOT vote twice (it’s a felony), or waste your time, or unnecessarily risk exposure to more people.”

At least Trump is promoting mail-in voting, sort of:

The only GOOD thing about the President’s tweet is that he FINALLY encourages voters to VOTE BY MAIL. It’s an easy, safe & secure way to cast a ballot. To request yours: votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home

Registering to vote is easy, Stein reminded voters.

Important Thread on VOTING in NC: 1. Register to vote before Fri 10/9 2. Request mail-in ballot ASAP 3. Mail in your ballot ASAP & track receipt by text/email 4. or Vote during 17 days of early vote (Th 10/15 – Sat 10/31) 5. or Vote on Election Day (Tu 11/3) 6. DO NOT VOTE TWICE

REGISTRATION: To register to vote or update your registration, click link below. You must be registered by Friday 10/9. If you miss the deadline, you can STILL register & vote at an early voting site. ncsbe.gov/registering/ho

Voting by mail is easy:

VOTE BY MAIL: To request your absentee ballot online, click link below. Any eligible voter can vote by mail – no special reason required. By voting by mail, you will shorten lines for those who prefer to vote in person. votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home

Ballots can be tracked, despite what Trump says.

TRACK YOUR BALLOT: Have a witness when you mark your ballot. BOTH of you must SIGN the envelope. Mail in your ballot ASAP to avoid slow mail delivery (at least 1-2 weeks before 11/3). To get text/email alerts to confirm receipt of your ballot, click here: northcarolina.ballottrax.net/voter/

 

Stein further encouraged voters to submit their ballots as early as possible:

EARLY VOTE: If you prefer to vote in person during early vote, that’s GREAT. There will be COVID19 protocols to maximize public safety. All counties will have 17 days, including 2 weekends, of early voting. Here’s your county’s early voting sites & times: vt.ncsbe.gov/ossite/

Voting in-person is fine too, and precautions will be taken to ensure voter safety:

ELECTION DAY: If you’re old school & want to vote on Election Day, that’s also great. There will be COVID19 protocols to maximize public safety. To find out where your precinct is, click this link: vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/

“FOLLOW THE LAW: NC law PROHIBITS voters from VOTING TWICE,” Stein emphasized. “It’s simple – just vote ONCE! Also do NOT take a photo of your marked ballot; you can take a picture of the envelope or the blank ballot, but not once you’ve filled it out.”

Need extra cash? Stein welcomes voters to apply to be poll workers:

DEMOCRACY HERO: We need election officials for early voting & on Election Day! Many seniors who normally serve are opting out because of COVID19. Be a HERO for DEMOCRACY, serve as an election official, & GET PAID! Here’s the link: forms.office.com/Pages/Response

Stein concludes:

This election is about what kind of state, nation & world we want for ourselves & our children. We are at the most consequential fork in the road of our lifetimes: who are we & who do we want to become. Please vote. It’s likely the most important vote you will ever cast. ###

Earlier this month, North Carolina State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell warned in a statement of the potential legal penalties fraudulent voting carries:

It is illegal to vote twice in an election. N.C.G.S. § 163-275(7) makes it a Class I felony for a voter, “with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time…in the same primary or election.” Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law.

Bell also explained that there are systems already in place to prevent double voting.

The State Board has a dedicated investigations team that investigates allegations of double voting, which are referred to prosecutors when warranted.

If you request an absentee by-mail ballot but decide later that you would like to vote in person instead, you may. You should discard your absentee ballot. Do not send it back in.

If you have already placed your ballot in the mail but are not sure whether it has been accepted by your county board of elections, North Carolina offers a few ways to check the status of your absentee by-mail ballot without leaving your home.

Colorado’s Secretary of State, Jena Griswold, has also put Trump on notice about the potential legal ramifications of facilitating voter fraud, which, ironically enough, barely exists in the first place.

Trump has nonetheless remained convinced that mail-in voting is bad (even though he does it himself) and that voters need to cast two ballots – just in case.



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