President Donald Trump, a white supremacist who frequently spreads pro-fascist disinformation, told his supporters on Wednesday to vote twice—once with an absentee mail-in ballot and again at a polling station. Trump implied that attempting to vote twice was just a way to test how secure the mail-in voting system will be during the upcoming presidential election, despite the fact that voting twice is a felony under U.S. law.
“They will vote and then they are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates then they won’t be able to do that,” Trump said at the airport, with the noise of planes roaring behind him.
“So, let them send it in and let them go vote. And if the system is as good as they say it is, then they obviously won’t be able to vote [at the polls]. If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do.”
Individual voter fraud in the U.S. is extremely rare, but people can still go to prison, even if they didn’t know they’re ineligible to vote. One recent case that received considerable media attention was a woman in Texas who voted in 2016 while on supervised release from prison. Felons aren’t allowed to cast a ballot in Texas and despite not knowing that she was prohibited from voting, she was still sentenced to five years in prison for the infraction.
Trump repeated his appeal for supporters to vote twice when he spoke directly to the crowd that was waiting for him in North Carolina.
“Send it in early and then go and vote,” Trump told supporters at the airport.
The president’s comments were addressed last night by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who asked Attorney General Bill Barr about the legality of voting twice. Barr, a member of the Trump regime who is increasingly weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice against political opponents, did not have a convincing response to Blizter’s questions.
“That sounds like he’s encouraging people to commit a crime... to vote twice,” Blitzer said, stating the obvious.
Barr played dumb at first, trying to reframe Trump’s encouragement of illegal behavior as a straightforward way to ensure a fair election.
“I don’t know exactly what [Trump] was saying, but it seems to me what he’s saying is, he’s trying to make the point that the ability to monitor this system is not good. And if it was so good, if you tried to vote a second time, you would be caught if you voted in person,” Barr told Blitzer.
“That would be illegal if they did that,” Blitzer countered. “If somebody mailed in a ballot and then actually showed up to vote in person, that would be illegal.”
“I don’t know what the vote in the particular state says,” Barr insisted.
“You can’t vote twice...” Blitzer interjected.
“Well, I don’t know what the law in the particular state says, and when that vote becomes final...” Barr said.
“Is there any state that says you can vote twice?” Blitzer asked.
“Well, there’s some... maybe that you can change your vote up until a particular time. I don’t know what the law is,” Barr said.
Barr finally tried to end the line of questioning by saying “why are you asking me?” about the legality of what the president has said, prompting Blitzer to point out that Barr is the Attorney General of the United States.
This is, without a doubt, an exchange that will be played in future documentaries about the Trump regime’s efforts to harm America’s democratic processes.
The White House often defends the president whenever he encourages people to do something illegal by insisting that Trump is “joking.” But it’s pretty clear he’s never joking when it comes to something that he feels with benefit him politically.
In fact, shortly after White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters in June that Trump was saying things “in jest” when he suggested covid-19 testing should be slowed down. Later, when asked directly about whether he was serious about cutting back the number of coronavirus tests in the country, Trump said “I don’t kid.”
Yet again, it’s clear the president isn’t joking. Trump is telling his supporters to vote twice, all while insisting there’s fraud being perpetrated by Democrats and “anarchists” to rig the 2020 election.
It’s very obvious that Trump won’t accept the outcome of the election if he loses. Trump hasn’t even accepted that, while he won the electoral college vote in 2016, he lost the popular vote to his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes.
“I think I did win the popular vote, in a true sense,” Trump told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in an interview that aired Tuesday night. “I think there was tremendous cheating.”
Trump did not win the popular vote in 2016 and is unlikely to win the popular vote in 2020. But can he win the electoral college by getting enough votes in swing states? None of it will matter if he refuses to leave the White House.