North Carolina attorney general tells voters not to do what Trump says on mail-in voting
The North Carolina attorney general urged voters not to act on President Trump's advice for voters in the state to go to polling places after they send in their absentee ballots, saying that it could lead to people voting twice, which is illegal.
In a tweet on Saturday morning, Mr. Trump urged voters to sign and send in their absentee ballots early, and then check to see if their ballot was counted by going to their polling place in person.
"When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don't let them illegally take your vote away from you!" Mr. Trump wrote, appearing to offer support for voting twice, which is a felony. Twitter quickly flagged Mr. Trump's tweet, putting a disclaimer that said it "violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity."
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein then told voters in a tweet, "do NOT do what the President directs."
"To make sure your ballot COUNTS, sign and send it in EARLY. Then track it ONLINE with BALLOTTRAX. Do NOT vote twice (it's a felony), or waste your time, or unnecessarily risk exposure to more people," Stein wrote, providing a link to the website that allows North Carolina voters to track their absentee ballots.
"The only GOOD thing about the President's tweet is that he FINALLY encourages voters to VOTE BY MAIL. It's an easy, safe & secure way to cast a ballot," Stein said in a follow-up tweet. Mr. Trump has previously denigrated voting by mail by baselessly claiming that it leads to voter fraud.
Voters in North Carolina began sending in absentee ballots on September 4. Nearly 10,000 North Carolinians had their mail-in ballots accepted in the first week of voting, according to data released Friday by the State Board of Elections.
Earlier this month, Mr. Trump urged supporters in North Carolina to illegally vote twice, once by mail and once in person in order to "test" mail-in voting systems.
"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," the president said at an airport rally in Wilmington. "And if it's not tabulated, you vote, and the vote is going to count. You can't let them take your vote away."
However, CBS Raleigh affiliate has reported that it is "clerically impossible" for a person to vote twice in North Carolina because the state tracks a voter's ballot from the moment it is requested to when it is received by the local Board of Elections. Therefore, voters who have already mailed ballots will not be allowed to cast votes on Election Day.
Despite repeated criticism of the practice, earlier this month Mr. Trump requested his own mail-in ballot for Florida's primary election.
Audrey McNamara contributed to this report.
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