President Donald Trump has recently taken to encouraging his supporters to commit election fraud. Specifically, he has insisted that folks should submit their mail-in ballots and then also attempt to vote in-person in order to essentially test the system and see if their earlier ballot was counted because, supposedly, if it was, then poll workers would block them from voting a second time. Even just trying to vote twice is a crime (at least in North Carolina, where Trump first made the suggestion, but likely elsewhere too — voting twice itself is definitely a crime, everywhere). Trump is encouraging his supporters to try and commit a crime in order to get around a problem (systemic problems with mail-in voting) that he himself made up. Twitter flagged two of Trump’s Thursday tweets in which he reiterated the conspiratorial plan.
Twitter has had to flag Trump tweets again. This time, a public interest notice was put on two of his tweets for encouraging people to potentially vote twice. pic.twitter.com/TeYBBlT4Qi
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 3, 2020
On Twitter, Trump said, in part:
‘[In] order for you to MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS & IS COUNTED, SIGN & MAIL IN your Ballot as EARLY as possible. On Election Day, or Early Voting go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted). If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly.’
Subsequently, Trump added the claim that if voters’ mail-in ballot arrives after they vote in person, then “that Ballot will not be used or counted in that your vote has already been cast & tabulated.”
Trump is showing a profoundly ignorant understanding of the way that the U.S. election system works. Many voters can simply track the status of their mail-in ballot online — they don’t need to try and commit a crime to test the system. In North Carolina, which is where Trump first unveiled the kooky plan, it’s actually a crime to even “induce” someone to vote twice, which is what Trump seems to be doing.
Twitter placed messages alongside the original text of Trump’s tweets. When accessing the tweets from his profile, the messages block the text until a user clicks “view” to reveal the president’s original rant. The message says:
‘This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.’
This latest nonsense is the latest front in the president’s consistent paranoia about the election.