On Wednesday, Donald Trump visited Wilmington, North Carolina, and during his visit, he encouraged people in the state to vote twice—which is, at least in North Carolina, a felony.
As they stood on the airport tarmac, WECT’s Jon Evans asked Trump, “600,000 people could vote by absentee in this state. Are you confident in that system?”
“Yeah, I don’t like that,” Trump responded, before emitting a somewhat difficult to parse, rambling speech in which he sure seemed to ask people to vote twice, once by absentee and then once at a polling location. “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. And if their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote. So that’s the way it is, and that’s what they should do.”
That is in fact not the way it is, and that is absolutely not what people should do. As WECT helpfully pointed out:
However, it is clerically impossible for a person to vote twice in North Carolina because the state launched a means of tracking a voter’s ballot from the moment it is requested to when it is received by the local Board of Elections. Therefore, the way the system is set up, if a voter mailed in his or her ballot, they would be recorded as having voted and would not be allowed to cast a ballot on election day.
Trump continued, seemingly not understanding that in North Carolina and most states, you have to request an absentee ballot: “I don’t like the idea of these unsolicited votes, I never did, it leads to a lot of problems. They’ve got 11 problems already on very small contests, so I’m not happy about it.”
And then Trump contradicted himself, while at the same time displaying again a deep misunderstanding of how voting works. “But send in your ballots, send them in strong, whether it’s solicited or unsolicited. The absentees are fine, we have to work together... And you send them in, but you go to vote, and if they haven’t counted it, you can vote. So that’s the way I view it.”
That’s certainly the way he views it!