Trump Says It’s OK for Him to Vote Absentee But ‘Dangerous’ for Anyone Else

Trump Says It’s OK for Him to Vote Absentee But ‘Dangerous’ for Anyone Else


By Emily Singer

April 8, 2020

Trump voted by mail just last month, but he says other people who do it are cheaters.

Donald Trump on Tuesday attacked Democrats for wanting to expand voting by mail in order to protect the public from the COVID-19 pandemic, falsely saying that absentee voting is “dangerous” and “fraudulent.”

Trump made the comment after Republicans in Wisconsin blocked the state’s Democratic governor from canceling in-person voting in the state’s primary, and instead extending absentee voting in order to prevent virus transmission in the state. Because of the GOP’s move, thousands of people waited in hourslong lines on Tuesday, risking their health in order to participate in the democratic process.

At his daily coronavirus task force briefing on Tuesday, Trump said he supported the GOP’s efforts, falsely claiming that absentee voting leads people to “cheat” in elections.

RELATED: Courts Keep Election in Wisconsin, End Absentee Extension

“They’re fraudulent in many cases,” Trump said of mail-in ballots.

Absentee ballots are not fraudulent.

Oregon and Washington, which both conduct their elections entirely by mail, looked into possible voting fraud after the 2016 election.

Washington found 74 cases of fraud out of 3.36 million ballots cast — which amounts to a fraud rate of 0.002%. Oregon found 54 cases of fraud.

“As with all forms of voter fraud, documented instances of fraud related to [voting by mail] are rare,” a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Election Data and Science Lab found.

Trump gave insight last month into why he opposes absentee voting, claiming that it would increase turnout and thus prevent Republicans from winning elections in the future.

“If you look at before and after, the things they had in [the bill] were crazy,” Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” on March 30, criticizing Democratic efforts to expand access to absentee voting. “They had things, levels of voting that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

However, Trump himself voted by mail just last month to cast a ballot in the Florida primary. In 2018, Trump voted by mail in New York, before he changed his residency to Florida.

When a reporter at Tuesday’s briefing pointed out that Trump has voted by mail, Trump said that it’s OK for him to vote by mail, but not for others.

Here is Trump’s exchange with a reporter on the subject on Tuesday:

REPORTER: Mr. President, you were highly critical of mail-in voting — mailing your mail-in ballots for voting a few minutes ago.

TRUMP: I think mail-in voting is horrible.

REPORTER: But you voted by mail in —

TRUMP: It’s corrupt.

REPORTER: — Florida’s election last month, didn’t you?

TRUMP: Sure, I can vote by mail for the —

REPORTER: So how do you reconcile that?

TRUMP: Because I’m allowed to. Well, that’s called “out of state.” You know why I voted? Because I happen to be in the White House and I won’t be able to go to Florida to vote. But let me just say —

REPORTER: So what is the difference between mailing within state and mailing outside the state?

TRUMP: Well, there’s a big difference between somebody that’s out of state and does a ballot and everything is sealed, certified, and everything else. You see what you have to do with the certifications. And you get thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody’s living room, signing ballots all over the place.

It’s unclear why Trump thinks casting an absentee from out of state is any different from using an in-state absentee ballot.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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