President Trump has encouraged voters in North Carolina to expose potential problems in their vote-by-mail system by voting twice in the upcoming election.
According to ABC News, the president is attempting to expose that voter fraud is possible in the system.
“They will vote and then they are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates then they won’t be able to do that. So, let them send it in, and let them go vote,” Trump said Wednesday during an interview with local news station WECT.
Trump then said if there are no issues with the system, then the vote would not be counted; “And if the system is as good as they say it is, then they obviously won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do.”
ABC News cautions, however, that voting twice is illegal anywhere in the country, although penalties vary by state. Such an offense would be a Class I felony offense in the state of North Carolina.
Attorney General William Barr was asked to clarify Trump’s comments but said he was not sure what he meant. He said the president was not encouraging people to commit a crime but was drawing attention to voting integrity in the state.
“I don’t know exactly what he was saying, but it seems to me what he’s saying is, he’s trying to make the point that the ability to monitor this system is not good,” Barr said via the report. “And if it was so good, if you tried to vote a second time you would be caught if you voted in person.”
Election officials in states across the country have defended their ability to conduct their elections with integrity:
ABC News reached out to elections authorities in all 50 states for their assessment of Trump’s claims. Of the nearly 30 secretaries of state and elections board offices who provided on-the-record responses in July none expressed doubts in their state’s ability to protect the integrity of their elections this November.