Donald Trump is urging his supporters in North Carolina to vote twice in the US election. He wants to test the voting system with it. The problem: the request is illegal.
Several US states have firmly rejected President Donald Trump’s encouragement to double-vote in the November elections as illegal. Twitter also took action against Trump’s statements. “It is illegal to vote twice no matter who you encourage,” said a Michigan state statement. said Justice Secretary Dana Nessel, a Democrat. The North Carolina election authority also said (local time) on Thursday, “It is illegal to vote twice.” Similar statements came from election officials in California, Colorado and Arizona, among others.
The North Carolina agency also warned citizens not to come to polling stations on election day, contrary to the president’s call, to ensure that their votes by mail are correctly counted. “That is not necessary. It would also lead to longer lines and a possible spread of the corona virus.” The American states are responsible for conducting the elections.
Each eligible voter has only one vote in the United States
Trump had encouraged voters by mail to try to double-vote. Trump told local broadcaster WECT on Wednesday during a visit to the state of North Carolina that voters by mail should try again to cast their votes at the polling station. If the postal voting system works as well as its proponents have suggested, “they won’t be able to,” he said.
The problem: This procedure is illegal in the US, each eligible voter has only one vote. It is also a crime in the state of North Carolina for someone to commit fraud by deliberately double-registration or double-voting. It is also a criminal offense to get people to vote illegally in an election or area code. Under US federal law, casting more than one vote in a presidential or congressional election can result in a fine of up to $ 10,000 and / or imprisonment for up to five years.
Facebook and Twitter turn on – Trump row back
Facebook said in response to Trump’s interview that it was in violation of “guidelines banning election fraud and we will remove it unless disseminated to correct the statements.” Trump’s spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the president wanted his statements to warn of the potential of fraud through postal ballots.
On Thursday, Trump rowed back a bit via Twitter, but again asked voters to go to the polling station on election day. In the event of a problem, citizens must then vote again on the spot so that no vote is lost, he wrote.
Twitter therefore warned two of Trump’s tweets on this topic. The tweets violated guidelines for maintaining election integrity, the company said. “Our goal is to prevent people from sharing double-voting advice that could be illegal,” he said. The tweet could therefore only be distributed to a limited extent. A click on the warning led to the original. It’s in the public interest that the tweet is still available, he said.
Trump repeatedly criticizes postal voting for fraud without explanation. So it’s only been about ten days since Twitter tweeted Trump’s alleged election fraud with a warning. Trump has approximately 86 million followers on Twitter.
Trump’s proposal could cause confusion
With the double vote, Donald Trump wants to encourage people to test the electoral system. (Source: AP / dpa)
Trump’s proposal has legal and political implications. “All states have mechanisms in place to prevent a voter from casting a postal vote and a personal vote,” said Richard Pildes, CNN analyst and professor at New York University School of Law. If your absentee vote has not yet been received and you appear in person to vote, your private vote will be counted and your absent vote rejected. However, if your absent vote is already registered, you will be prompted for a provisional vote This ballot will not be counted once. Your ballot has been confirmed to have been received. “From Pildes’ point of view, Donald Trump’s proposal will cause enormous confusion.
Minister of Justice has no idea
But that could be exactly the intention, at least thinks Rick Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California-Irvine. “It appears he has proposed a double vote to test the integrity of the system or to ensure that his voters can cast at least one vote for him,” Hasen told CNN. Is it fraudulent? It may be because Trump seems to assume that election investigators don’t necessarily notice the double voting behavior of his supporters. “
US Attorney General Barr was asked to comment on Trump’s words a little later after Trump’s initial statements in a live interview on CNN. “It seems to me that he is trying to point out that the ways of monitoring the system are not good. And that you would get caught trying to vote a second time if it worked fine,” Barr said. When asked that it would be illegal to attempt to vote twice, Barr said, “I don’t know what the law is about in this particular state.”
Due to the ongoing corona pandemic, a huge increase in the number of votes by mail is expected in the elections on 3 November. Postal voting is generally considered safe and well-established – for example, in 2016 nearly one in four voters voted by mail.