President Trump on Wednesday suggested that voters in North Carolina test how secure their state’s elections systems are by mailing in a ballot and then going to the polls on Election Day to vote in person.
“Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” he told reporters. “If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote. That’s the way it is. And that’s what they should do.”
Over the last few weeks, Trump has privately shared his plan, which is illegal, with aides, The New York Times reports. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many states are expanding mail-in voting, in order to ensure that people can cast their ballots safely. Trump has railed against this, falsely claiming that it will result in widespread fraud. His advisers are concerned that he is scaring his own supporters, the Times reports, and want him to tone down the rhetoric.
Patrick Gannon, a spokesman for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, told the Times “intentional willful double voting is a felony,” and there are several measures in place to prevent a person from voting more than once. Gannon said if a person in North Carolina mails in an absentee ballot and then goes to vote at a polling place on Election Day, records will show poll workers that they voted already. If someone votes in person on Election Day and then their absentee ballot later arrives in the mail, it will be considered “spoiled” and not counted.
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R) told the Times in an interview last year that her state, which conducts its elections by mail, has a way to check for people who may have voted more than once. In 2018, 3.5 million ballots were cast, and “it appears that roughly 100 people may have voted more than once,” Wyman said. “Counties are checking. Is it perfect? No. Is there rampant fraud? No. Do people sometimes make mistakes? Yes.” Catherine Garcia