FILE PHOTO: Election workers take away a ballot box full of votes at a drive-through mail-in ballot return drop set-up outside the Registrar of Voters office in San Diego, California, U.S., June 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that voters submit their votes both by mail and in-person to test the mail-in voting system in the upcoming election. Trump walked the statement back on Thursday, saying that people who vote early by mail should vote again at polling places if their ballot was not counted. But not before causing an uproar around the country. 

Attorney General William Barr faced the same backlash when he did not confirm whether Trump’s suggestions were illegal. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump’s statements, noting that the president “does not condone” illegal voting.

Election officials in Michigan and North Carolina warned citizens they could be prosecuted for voter fraud if they vote twice. Both Facebook and Twitter limited the visibility of videos of the president’s remarks and tweets from the president in support of double voting.

The remarks contradict the president’s previous statements, who just four months ago told Fox News, “The level of dishonesty with Democrat voting is unbelievable. If you told a Republican to vote twice, they’d get sick at even the thought of it. And you have people who vote numerous times.”

The controversial statement comes the same day the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit against Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to block universal mail-in voting in the state. The campaign had filed these kinds of lawsuits with multiple states over the past few months, including Pennsylvania and California, as the president continues to criticize mail-in voting’s security.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Trump urges voters to check mail-in ballots counted at polls after saying they should try to vote twice – Fox News – 9/3/2020
President Trump encouraged voters to make sure “your precious vote has been counted,” a day after he was accused of urging his supporters in North Carolina to commit election fraud by trying to vote twice — once by mail and then again in-person at the polls on Election Day just in case. He clarified on Twitter that he wanted voters to double-check that their mail-in votes were counted.

Donald Trump Encouraged NC Voters To Test Mail-In System By Voting Twice – Essence – 9/3/2020
“So send it in early and then go and vote,” Trump said according to the Post. “You can’t let them take your vote away; these people are playing dirty politics. So if you have an absentee ballot . . . you send it in, but I’d check it, follow it and go vote.” Of course, this is poor advice, considering intentionally voting twice is illegal (and the very type of voter fraud that Trump claims to be concerned about). In North Carolina and other states, doing so could result in felony charges.

‘Let Me Talk’: William Barr Lashes Out At Wolf Blitzer In Testy Exchange Over Mail-In Voting – Daily Caller – 9/3/2020
Attorney General William Barr refused to be derailed during a testy Wednesday afternoon exchange with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer over mail-in voting. Blitzer and Barr clashed several times on the topic — which has become a regular sticking point as the United States rapidly approaches the first general election since the coronavirus pandemic struck — during a segment of “The Situation Room.”

Trump Encourages Supporters to Vote Twice, Which Is a Felony – Vanity Fair – 9/3/2020
But apparently, perhaps having seen the latest polls, which even Fox News has had to admit put Biden in the lead, Trump has grown concerned that saying fraud will be rampant won’t actually make it happen. So on Wednesday he came up with a new plan: ask his base to commit voter fraud. Speaking to reporters in North Carolina, Trump encouraged MAGA Nation to test the legitimacy of the country’s so-called election security by purposely voting twice, which is, in fact, a felony in a number of states, including North Carolina.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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