Why Trump advises voters to double vote, which is illegal
US President Donald Trump during his election campaign at North Carolina encouraged his supporters to vote twice one by mail and one in person on November 3 the election day. “Let them send it in (mail) and let them go vote (in person),” Trump said on Wednesday during an interview with WECT-TV in Wilmington, North Carolina. “And if the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote” (in person). If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote.”
US President, who is contesting for his next term at the White House, alleged that the mail-in voting – an option arranged by some states to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic – would increase fraud and disrupt the US presidential election. While analyst invalided his concern saying that the possibility of conducting any kind of voting fraud in the United States was very slim. Interestingly, Mr. Trump didn’t have any evidence to prove his allegation true.
But Trump’s dangerous suggestion did put the state election boards on alert. As a damage control, Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections issued a statement against Trump’s voting suggestion. Bell said “It is illegal to vote twice in an election.” She said that as per the law of North Carolina along with some others states it was a “Class I felony” for a voter, “with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time … in the same primary or election.” “Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law,” Brinson Bell added.
In North Carolina not only was double voting a crime but also encouraging such an act among public was an equally serious crime. Ballots for the state of North Carolina were scheduled to be sent on Friday.State Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, took to Twitter and slammed the US president who “outrageously encouraged” North Carolinians “to break the law in order to help him sow chaos in our election.”
Stein wrote: “Make sure you vote, but do NOT vote twice! I will do everything in my power to make sure the will of the people is upheld in November.”
Later, a clarification was issued by Trump’s campaign and the White House saying that he didn’t ask people people to vote twice. “The president is not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News Channel on Thursday. “What he said very clearly there is make sure your vote is tabulated and if it is not, then vote.”
Republicans hoped that White House clarification was enough to settle the issue but in this day and age of social media and Mr. Trump’s overt love for it, many raised the issue online as among a series of tweets Mr. Trump published on Thursday, one read, “”On Election Day, or Early Voting go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted),” Trump wrote. “If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE.”
In order to steer clear of any controversy, Twitter promptly issued warnings over the tweets for violating the company’s rules on civic and election integrity. Facebook Inc took a safer route and flashed a new label on Trump’s post, which read, “voting by mail has a long history of trustworthiness in the US and the same is predicted this year.”