President Trump visited Wilmington, N.C., on Wednesday and urged supporters to attempt to vote in individual after sending in a mail-in poll — actions that will be each unlawful and disruptive.

Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images


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Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

President Trump visited Wilmington, N.C., on Wednesday and urged supporters to attempt to vote in individual after sending in a mail-in poll — actions that will be each unlawful and disruptive.

Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Updated at 3:08 p.m. ET

President Trump, who has regularly criticized mail-in voting, on Wednesday took his assaults on the method a step additional, telling supporters in North Carolina they need to go to polls even after voting by mail to “make sure it counted.”

Voting twice can be a felony underneath North Carolina regulation — as is inducing somebody to vote twice — warned Karen Brinson Bell, government director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, who issued an announcement Thursday morning.

“The State Board has a dedicated investigations team that investigates allegations of double voting, which are referred to prosecutors when warranted,” mentioned Bell.

The warning got here after Trump informed a gaggle of supporters in Wilmington, N.C., airport: “If you get the unsolicited ballots, send it in, and then go — make sure it counted. And if it doesn’t tabulate, you vote. You just vote. And then if they tabulate it very late, which they shouldn’t be doing, they’ll see you voted, and so it won’t count. So, send it in early, and then go and vote. And if it’s not tabulated — you vote. And the vote is going to count,” Trump mentioned.

Thursday afternoon, Twitter flagged Trump’s morning tweets reiterating his feedback, saying they “violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity.”

Facebook took related motion, attaching an announcement to Trump’s publish on the platform that mentioned, “Voting by mail has a long history of trustworthiness in the US and the same is predicted this year.” (Read more about voting by mail here; the FBI says it has no evidence of coordinated widespread voter fraud, regardless of Trump’s claims.)

A spokesman mentioned Facebook would additionally not enable individuals to share the video of Trump as a result of it “violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted that the president “does not condone unlawful voting” in Thursday’s press briefing.

Earlier, White House spokesman Judd Deere denied that Trump was urging individuals to vote twice and mentioned the information media was taking his remarks out of context.

“No one has fought harder for an election system that is fair and free from fraud and abuse than President Trump. This idea that he is encouraging people to vote twice is yet another example of the media taking him out of context,” Deere mentioned in an announcement.

While 9 states and the District of Columbia are proactively sending ballots to all registered voters, North Carolina will not be, and neither is the state sending out absentee poll functions to voters, as a further 9 states are.

In an interview with WCET Television, Trump was requested about his confidence within the state’s absentee voting system.

“They’ll go out and they’ll vote and they’re going to have to go and 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,” he mentioned. “So, let them send it in and let them go vote and if their system’s as good as they say it is they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote so that’s the way it is.”

Amber McReynolds, who heads the National Vote At Home Institute and was a director of elections in Denver, mentioned there are safeguards in place in most states to forestall the type of motion Trump was advocating.

When voters signal the envelope containing their poll, “it’s very much the same as you checking in to a polling place on a poll book,” she says. “You’re essentially checking yourself off the list by turning that envelope in.”

McReynolds says if voters “show up in person and you’ve requested a mail ballot, you’re going to be given a provisional ballot because they need to confirm that your mail ballot has not been received,” she says.

Trump has regularly criticized mail-in voting, alleging with out proof that it’s rife with fraud. A report variety of voters are anticipated to forged their ballots by mail within the coming presidential election due to issues regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

But Bell, of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, mentioned voters shouldn’t go to polling locations to test if their poll has been counted.

“The State Board office strongly discourages people from showing up at the polls on Election Day to check whether their absentee ballot was counted,” she mentioned. “That is not necessary, and it would lead to longer lines and the possibility of spreading COVID-19.”

NPR tech correspondent Shannon Bond contributed to this story.





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