GOP Caught Mailing Pro-Trump ‘Absentee Ballot Requests’

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Amidst President Donald Trump’s incessant criticisms of mail-in voting, which he claims is full of opportunities for fraud, the state Republican Party in North Carolina has been sending out absentee ballot request forms in mailers that are emblazoned with images of the president. Trump and some of his allies have tried to distinguish between mail-in and absentee ballots, but they are, quite simply, the same thing. Trump’s team has tried to assert a difference via claiming that voters have to qualify for “absentee” ballots while “mail-in” ballots, at least in a “universal” mail-in voting system, are sent out irrespective of voter requests — but it’s not as though any type of ballot is just handed out to anyone and everyone who walks by.

It’s worth noting — even the Republicans seem to acknowledge the confusing hollowness of the president’s stance, because part of a tweet from Trump about the topic is simply blurred out on the North Carolina mailers.

The original tweet reads:

‘Absentee Ballots are fine because you have to go through a precise process to get your voting privilege. Not so with Mail-Ins. Rigged Election!!!’

The mailer blurs out everything beyond the first sentence.

Mail-in voting and absentee voting are the same thing. Even Trump himself seems to lose hold of his already flimsy argument at times — he has repeatedly singled out Florida as a state in which authorities supposedly handle mail-in voting “right,” but in Florida, any voter can request and receive a mail-in ballot, no qualifying excuse needed.

One North Carolina voter who received one of the recent mailers, Chandler Carranza, pointed out the ridiculousness to CNN. They said:

‘The irony is very thick and definitely not lost on me. Trump has been saying mail-in ballots will bring fraud to the election but absentee ballots are legit. Which is it? It can’t be both ways. I laughed because if the campaign actually took information from other times they have reached out to me, they’d know I won’t vote for Trump despite being a registered Republican.’

Check out their image of the mailer below:

Thea McDonald, who’s the deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign, claimed that Trump “has… correctly distinguished between chaos-ridden universal mail-in voting systems, like the one that led to California’s train wreck primary, and traditional absentee mail voting systems, like the tried and true system in North Carolina” — but no, he definitely has not. First of all: he quite frequently doesn’t even specify that he’s referring to “universal” mail-in voting rather than just “mail-in” voting in general. Additionally, even if he did make that specification each and every time, it would not change the fact that mail-in voting and absentee voting are fundamentally the same process.

Still, like in other cases of the president’s belligerence, this nonsense has serious ramifications. Trump, at one point recently, indicated he’s ready and willing to hold up emergency financial support for the Postal Service in order to thwart their ability to handle mail-in votes. Since there’s no actual evidence for his claims that mail-in voting leads to some kind of systematic fraud, what actually seems to be happening is that Trump has recognized the possibility that he might lose and decided that he’d rather rant and rave about a baselessly supposed conspiracy against election integrity.