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Facebook, Twitter, flag Trump posts on mail-in voting, go to polls: NPR



President Trump visited Wilmington, NC on Wednesday and urged supporters to personally vote after a postal vote – measures that would be both illegal and disruptive.

Melissa Sue Gerrits / Getty Images


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Melissa Sue Gerrits / Getty Images

President Trump visited Wilmington, NC on Wednesday and urged supporters to personally vote after a postal vote – measures that would be both illegal and disruptive.

Melissa Sue Gerrits / Getty Images

Updated at 3:08 PM ET

President Trump, who has often criticized the postal vote, pushed his attacks on the process even further on Wednesday, telling supporters in North Carolina to vote after the postal vote to “make sure it counts”.

Voting twice would be a crime under North Carolina law – as was voting twice – warned Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, who made a statement Thursday morning.

“The State Board has a dedicated investigation team to investigate double-voting allegations, which will be referred to prosecutors if necessary,” said Bell.

The warning came after Trump told a group of supporters at Wilmington, NC Airport, “If you get the unsolicited ballots, mail them in, and then go – make sure they’re counted. And if they’re not tabulated.” You just vote. And then if they tab it very late, what not to do, they’ll see that you voted and it won’t count, so send it in and early then go and vote. And if It’s not tabulated – you vote. And the vote will count, “Trump said.

On Thursday afternoon, Twitter flagged Trump’s morning tweets and repeated his comments. The comments “violated Twitter’s rules on the integrity of citizens and elections”.

Facebook took similar action, adding a statement to Trump’s post on the platform stating, “Email votes have a long history of trustworthiness in the US and it is forecast to continue this year.” (Read more about voting by mail here. The FBI states that despite Trump’s claims, there is no evidence of coordinated, widespread election fraud.)

A spokesman said Facebook would also not allow people to share Trump’s video because it “violates our anti-fraud policy.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany insisted that the president “will not condone unlawful voting” in Thursday’s press conference.

Previously, White House spokesman Judd Deere denied Trump asking people to vote twice, saying the news media were pulling his remarks out of context.

“No one has fought harder for an electoral system that is fair and free from fraud and abuse than President Trump. This idea of ​​encouraging people to vote twice is another example of the media taking him out of context have, “Deere said in a statement.

While nine states and the District of Columbia proactively send ballots to all registered voters, North Carolina does not, and the state does not send requests for postal votes to voters, as does another nine states.

In a subsequent interview with WCET Television, Trump was asked about his confidence in the state’s postal voting system. “They’re going to go out and vote, and they have to check their vote by going to the polls and voting that way, because if it’s tabulated, they can’t. So, let them send it in and vote. If their system is as good as they say they obviously can’t. If it’s not tabulated, you can vote, so it is. “

Amber McReynolds, director of the National Vote At Home Institute and election officer in Denver, said security measures had been put in place in most states to prevent the action Trump advocated.

When voters sign the envelope with their ballot, “it’s almost like checking into a polling station at a polling station,” she says. “You essentially check yourself off the list by dropping off the envelope.”

McReynolds says that if voters “show up in person and you’ve requested a postal ballot, they’ll be sent a tentative ballot because they’ll have to confirm that your postal ballot wasn’t received,” she says.

Trump has often criticized the mail-in vote, claiming it was fraudulent. A record number of voters are expected to cast their ballots in the upcoming presidential election amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

But Bell of the North Carolina State Board of Elections said voters shouldn’t go to polling stations to see if their ballot has been counted.

“The State Board office strongly advises against voting on election day to see if your postal vote has been counted,” she said. “That is not necessary and would result in longer lines and the possibility of COVID-19 spreading.”

NPR tech correspondent Shannon Bond contributed to this story.




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