After railing about “fraudulent” mail-in ballots without any basis in fact, President Donald Trump bizarrely urged Americans on Friday to use absentee ballots — which are mailed in.
“People should go and they should vote — or do it absentee ballot,” he told reporters Friday, a day after he floated delaying the election.
Absentee ballots “are great because absentee ballots you have to go through a process to get ’em,” Trump explained. “It’s actually a great thing, absentee ballots. I’m going to be voting absentee,” Trump told reporters.
Voters have to go through a process for any mail-in ballots.
Just hours earlier, Michael Steele, former head of the Republican National Committee reminded Trump that the absentee ballots he (and many others in his administration) cast in elections are the same mail-in ballots he insists are fraudulent.
“Mail-in balloting, mail-in voting is legitimate. ... Every state has some form of it,” Steele said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” (Check out the video up top at the 7:00 mark.)
“You know it as absentee balloting,” Steele added. “I loved yesterday the president was like, ‘Well, I love absentee balloting, just this mail-by-vote thing.’ Mr. President, they’re the same thing, OK? Just so you understand: An absentee ballot is the same as a mail-in ballot.”
David Becker, the founder of the nonpartisan Center for Election Innovation and Research, told CNN last month: “You request a ballot, you get a ballot, you vote, you send it in, and there are protections in place. It doesn’t matter whether you call it mail voting or absentee voting. It’s the same thing.”
Trump insisted Thursday that “mail-in voting” is so fraudulent that the election should possibly be delayed. Trump does not have the power to postpone the election. Mail-in ballot fraud is extremely rare.
On Friday, he claimed the election is “fixed” and “rigged” and that it will be the “greatest election disaster in history” — even before a single vote has been cast.
Trump’s proposal to delay the U.S. election has infuriated Democrats and has not been supported by Republicans.