Trump Suggests People Should Vote Twice. Donald Trump has sparked outrage after appearing to suggest that voters in November’s presidential election should try to vote twice – once in person and once by post – in order to test claims that the system is safe from major voting fraud.
Speaking to local broadcaster WECT-TV in North Carolina, the president said: “Let them send it in and let them go vote. If the system is as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote (in person).” He also encouraged people who had cast a vote by post to also go to the polling station in person to check their vote had been counted during a series of tweets that Twitter said broke their rules around election integrity. It is illegal in the US to vote more than once in an election.
North Carolina’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein tweeted that Trump had “outrageously encouraged” people to break the law. Karen Brinson Bell from the North Carolina State Board of Elections said that there are measures in place in the state to prevent people from being able to vote twice, including an electronic pollbook and an after-vote audit.
Trump campaign official Tim Murtaugh said: “It’s amazing that the media can go from insisting voter fraud doesn’t exist to screaming about it when President Trump points out the giant holes in the Democrats’ voting schemes.”
Trump has repeatedly attacked the postal vote system in the US as open to fraud and has suggested Joe Biden and the Democrats gain most from this. Both claims have been refuted by experts but Trump’s Attorney General William Barr argued that this was because there had not yet been the “kind of widespread use of mail-in (postal) ballots that’s being proposed (for this election).” One theory is that poor minorities, who are more likely to vote Democrat, are less likely to attend polling stations than older, whiter (and generally Republican) voters and are more likely to vote if given the option to vote by post. Meanwhile, a study of UK elections found that constituencies with large Bangladeshi and Pakistani populations (a population, in the US, that are most likely to be Democrat voters) are most susceptible to voter fraud.
Postal voting was used to cast almost a quarter of all ballots in the 2016 presidential election that saw Donald Trump elected to the White House; a figure that is likely to be higher this time. Democrats argue this is necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump argues that it will inflate the Democrat vote and has been accused of using measures to prevent postal voting from being a success, including starving the US postal service of funds. Republicans have also been accused of other voter suppression measures to decrease turnout in Democrat strongholds as accusations fly on both sides during an increasingly unpleasant election campaign.
Here in the UK, voter fraud, including postal voting, is something that had been alleged in past elections. Spectator columnist Charles Moore was able to cast two ballots – although he spoilt the second – from both of his addresses in the 2016 EU referendum, while the Brexit Party alleged fraud in the 2019 Peterborough by-election. The Electoral Commission found no evidence of electoral fraud in that instance but had earlier highlighted the constituency as being in one of the 16 local authorities most susceptible to voter fraud. Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman was removed from office in 2015 after being found to have committed multiple types of fraud, including using false addresses to cast postal votes.