President Donald Trump continued to criticize mail-in voting Wednesday — but his purported concerns about it haven’t stopped him from casting his ballot via mail in the past.
As battleground states like Pennsylvania continue to count ballots that were mailed in, Trump has repeatedly — and baselessly — disparaged the process as fraudulent, accusing an unidentified “they” of trying to “STEAL” the election in a tweet.
“They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!” he wrote Wednesday morning.
Those states have not yet been called in favor of either candidate, though the Associated Press shows Joe Biden leading Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, and Trump with a lead in Pennsylvania, though many more votes still need to be counted.
Despite the president’s apparent distrust of mail-in voting, which he has criticized for months, Trump himself voted absentee in New York in 2018, as well as in the Republican presidential primary for Florida in March, according to the Washington Post.
When a reporter noted this at a press briefing in April, Trump responded that it was because he was “allowed to,” CNN reported.
“Because I’m allowed to,” he said. “Well that’s called out of state.. you know why I voted? Because I happened to be in the White House and I won’t be able to go to Florida and vote.”
Others in Trump’s inner circle have voted absentee, too, including first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who has voted by mail 11 times in 10 years, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
This year, Trump voted early in person in West Palm Beach, Florida, and told reporters it was “much more secure” to vote in person as opposed to sending in a ballot.
The president has attacked mail-in voting for months after it became clear that the practice would be implemented amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, he tweeted, without evidence, that “there is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.”
“Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone …,” he wrote.
His comments were subsequently tagged by Twitter for possibly confusing voters with misinformation, though he was at it again a month later with a similar message.
“Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nations history – unless this stupidity is ended. We voted during World War One & World War Two with no problem, but now they are using Covid in order to cheat by using Mail-Ins!” he wrote on Twitter in June.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.
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