Trump Says He Supports Mail-In Voting In Florida – But Not Other States
Backtracking from his previous comments about mail-in voting, President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Florida’s election system is “Safe and Secure, Tried and True,” encouraging voters in Florida to request mail-in ballots.
Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
This new development contradicts months of Trump’s statements claiming that mail-in voting and absentee voting is different and that the former would lead to voting fraud.
Trump’s claims have been troubling Republican officials as it may lead to Republican voters not voting by mail this November during the presidential election. This may particularly affect Florida, where coronavirus cases have been particularly high, with one expert calling Miami “the new Wuhan.” While Trump won Florida in 2016, his voter base is older and thus more vulnerable to the virus.
Dan Eberhart, a Republican fundraiser, told Reuters that “[t]he president’s base skews older – this is the same population at high risk for COVID and most worried about in-person voting.”
In defense of the tweet, Trump stated that Florida, which has a Republican governor (Ron DeSantis), has “been able to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally” and that “Florida’s different from other states.” Trump himself has voted with an absentee ballot for the Florida primaries after he became a resident of Florida.
Trump’s fellow Republicans have also been mincing the president’s words to ensure that their voter base applies to vote by mail for the coming election. The Republican National Committee sent fliers to North Carolina and other swing states that truncated a Trump tweet to give the image that the president supports mail-in voting.
….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!!! 20% fraudulent ballots?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2020
Specifically, the flier used the words “Absentee Ballots are fine because you have to go through a precise process to get your voting privilege,” leaving out the latter part of the tweet that claimed that mail-in ballots would cause a rigged election.
Trump has also recently filed a lawsuit to prevent Nevada from implementing a bill to expand mail-in voting to all active voters.