…..despite the fact that the electoral authority clarifies that it is a crime
President Donald Trump insisted this Thursday night during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania that he told his supporters that they should vote twice in the November elections, promoting electoral fraud for the second day in a row , already living in unfounded fear about the validity of the results of the vote-by-mail.
“Vote-by-mail ballots are a shame and they know it. Sign your ballot by mail. Sign it and send it and then you have to follow it. And, if Election Day or Early Voting is not tabulated and counted, go vote, ”Trump said, reiterating a message he also delivered to voters in North Carolina on Wednesday.
Trump appeared to justify his call to vote twice by telling attendees that if his mail-in ballot came after he had voted in person, then it would not be counted. “They will not be able to tabulate it (the ballot) because they will have voted. They have to make sure your vote counts. The only way they’re going to beat us is by doing those kinds of things, “he said.
Voting double is not easy and means committing electoral fraud
Voting intentionally more than once in a federal election is a third-degree felony in most states, and possibly also in violation of federal voter fraud laws. The punishment varies by state, but is typically five to 10 years in jail and a $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 fine.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina Board of Elections approached the president with a blunt response to his incitement to North Carolina voters to vote twice in the November elections, once by mail and once in person.
“It is illegal to vote twice in one election,” replied the Board.
The official body in charge of voting stressed that casting a vote twice or losing another person to do so violates North Carolina law. Through a statement he also reported that “there are numerous mechanisms” to prevent this from happening .
Asked if he trusted the voting-by-mail system in that state, Trump said Wednesday that ” then let them send it in and go vote and if their system is as good as they say, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it’s not tabulated, they will be able to vote. This is how it works and that is what they should do.
Social media Facebook and Twitter posted warnings to the president’s posts about voting by mail on Thursday. Twitter said that two of these posts violated the platform’s Civic Integrity Policy. Facebok said it will remove all posts that promote Trump’s message of voting twice and that include the video with the president’s words.
Earlier this Thursday, the president reversed his incitement on Wednesday by saying that “to make sure that your vote counts and is counted, send your vote by mail as soon as possible and on the day of the election go to the place of vote to see if your vote was counted. “
“If they told you, you will not be able to vote and the voting by mail system will have worked well. If you have not been counted, vote (which is the right of every citizen). If your vote by mail comes after your vote (in person), what should not happen, that ballot will not be used or counted. This will ensure that your precious vote has been counted, “he wrote on Twitter.
North Carolina is one of the key states, or pendulum states, in which Democrats and Republicans have similar levels of support and where on each vote they can swing to one side or the other, making them essential to winning an election.
“I do not like it, ” Trump said when a reporter said that 600,000 voters in North Carolina could vote by absentee ballot ( absentee voting , in English), another name for voting by mail.
Millions of Americans have voted by mail in every election since the Civil War more than a century ago and without major instances of fraud, voting experts have told Noticias Telemundo.
It is illegal to vote more than once in an election. But this is not the first time that Trump has made such a call.
In 2016, during a rally in Colorado, shortly before his victory against Democrat Hillary Clinton, he urged his supporters to vote twice if they were in doubt that their vote by mail had been properly counted.
In fact, the president has tried on multiple occasions to discredit the validity of the future electoral results of this November 3, in particular, sowing confusion about voting by mail.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic , Trump has made countless false statements about alleged fraud in vote-by-mail , which is expected to be used by millions of people to avoid the possibility of contagion of COVID-19 at the polls.
Attorney General repeats debunked myth of vote-by-mail fraud
When asked about Trump’s comments in an interview Wednesday with CNN, Attorney General William Barr echoed Trump’s false accusations of fraud.
Barr argued that a 2005 bipartisan report on electoral reform found voting by mail to be “fraught with risks of fraud and coercion.”
However, when asked why no findings of widespread fraud have been found, Barr replied, “We have not had the kind of widespread use of ballot-by-mail that is proposed.”
Barr said he was unaware of specific North Carolina laws and did not respond directly to questions from NBC News , Telemundo’s sister network, about Trump’s previous comments.