Trump suggests North Carolinians vote twice to test the system

U.S. President Donald Trump suggested on Wednesday that voters in the state of North Carolina should vote twice in the November election, once in person and once by mail, to make sure their vote was counted.

“So, let them send it in and let them go vote,” Trump said in an interview with WECT-TV in Wilmington, N.C., when asked about the security of mail-in votes. “And if the system is as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote” in person.

Voting more than once in an election is illegal.

Activists raised concerns over Trump’s remarks, saying what he suggested was in violation of law and urging the public not to listen to his suggestion.

“Casting two ballots is illegal. Don’t listen to the president,” the American Civil Liberties Union said on Twitter.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday that mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 election could be vulnerable to fraud, echoing an argument Trump has made to denounce the use of voting by mail.

Unproven claims about mail voting

Trump has previously said the voting method is susceptible to large-scale fraud, though experts say voter fraud of any kind is extremely rare in the United States.

Voting by mail is not new in the United States — nearly one in four voters cast presidential ballots in 2016 that way.

A record number of mail-in ballots are expected for the Nov. 3 election due to concerns about in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump has accused Democrats of trying to steal the election by pushing the use of mail-in voting. Trump’s re-election campaign has recently sued states like New Jersey and Nevada for expanding access to mail-in voting.

Democrats have said Trump and fellow Republicans are attempting to suppress the vote to help their side.

Josh Stein, North Carolina’s Democratic attorney general, accused the president of trying to “sow chaos in our election.”

Trump has seen some social media posts censured by the platforms for raising specious claims about the vulnerability of voting by mail.