- President Donald Trump on Saturday asked North Carolina voters to cast a ballot twice, which is illegal, to ensure their votes are counted.
- His tweet comes a day after North Carolina released an app that voters can use to monitor the status of their postal votes.
- North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein refuted Trump’s message and advised voters not to “do what the president instructs.”
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
A day after North Carolina released an app that allows voters to track the status of their postal votes, President Donald Trump urged people in the state to vote twice on what is illegal.
“NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your ballot counts, sign and send it EARLY. When the polls are open, go to your polling station to see if it was counted. IF NOT, VOTE!”
“Your signed ballot does not count because your vote was published. Do not have your vote illegally taken from you!”
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2020
Twitter flagged Trump’s tweet and put a “public interest notice” on it for “violating our citizen integrity policy, particularly to encourage people to potentially vote twice”.
North Carolina on Friday unveiled an online service called BallotTrax, which allows voters “to monitor their postal voting from the comfort of their homes,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, in a statement.
“By keeping track of your ballot, voters can rest assured that their ballot has been received by the county electoral authority,” added Brinson Bell.
In videos shared on Facebook, the president previously urged North Carolina voters to vote by postal vote first, then go to the polling station and vote again if the postal vote has not yet been counted. The social media platform promised to turn them off because the news violated “guidelines on the prohibition of election fraud”.
A few minutes after Trump sent out the tweet instructing the North Carolinians to vote twice, Attorney General Josh Stein called for the opposite.
“NORTH CAROLINA: DO NOT do what the President instructs. To make sure your ballot COUNT, sign it and send it EARLY. Then follow it ONLINE with BALLOTTRAX,” Stein tweeted along with a link to the app. “DO NOT vote twice (it’s a crime) or waste your time or unnecessarily risk exposure to more people.”
—Josh Stein (@JoshStein_) September 12, 2020
The coronavirus has forced dozens of states to expand their voting programs via email to prevent the virus from spreading through personal voting. The North Carolina app would encourage voters to stay home instead of voting in person, according to a state board of elections press release.
The electoral authority released a separate statement earlier this month listing two additional ways voters can check the status of their ballot papers without appearing in person, as Trump called for in his tweet.
The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.
This is not the first time Trump has encouraged Americans to cast a vote more than once.
Earlier this month, Trump urged his Twitter followers “to go to your polling station to see if your Mail In Vote was tabulated (counted) or not” after they cast their vote via email. Twitter indicated that some of these tweets “violate Twitter’s rules on the integrity of citizens and elections.”