President Donald Trump made a change of course on Tuesday, saying that some mail-in voting is safe. Trump’s remark came in a surprising tweet on Tuesday after he has spent the past few months calling mail-in ballots untrustworthy and corrupt.
Trump also seemed to suggest that “vote by mail” and “absentee voting” are the same thing, writing on Twitter, “Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is safe and secure, tried and true. Florida’s voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot [and] Vote by Mail!”
Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
Trump voted by mail in Florida’s primary election and he has defended that move, saying, “I have to do an absentee because I’m voting in Florida, and I happen to be President. I live in that very beautiful house over there that’s painted white.”
During a press conference on Tuesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany stressed that Trump still believes mail-in voting is different than absentee voting.
She added, “He’s been unmistakably clear that when you have this mass mail-out voting, like what Nevada wants to do, the consequences are real.”
When a reporter noted that mail-in voting fraud is rare and noted that McEnany and the president both vote by mail, the press secretary responded, “With regards to the absentee system, that’s right and there is ample evidence of fraud.”
Press Sec. Kayleigh McEnany: "Absentee voting for a reason is different than mass-mail-out voting like what Nevada is seeking to do –"— The Hill (@thehill) August 4, 2020
Reporter: "It's the same thing." pic.twitter.com/rfNejdidXN
Trump has claimed that “there is no way (ZERO!) that mail-in ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.”
He has said that “mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged and even illegally printed out and fraudulently signed.”
Additionally, Trump has said that vote-by-mail is so dangerous that he suggested the idea of delaying the election over the practice.