North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein on Saturday pleaded with residents of his state to “not do what the president directs” after President Donald Trump yet again advised people to attempt to vote twice—once by mail and once in person on Election Day—in violation of both state and federal law.
“To make sure your ballot COUNTS, sign and send it in EARLY,” Stein tweeted, mimicking the president’s use of all caps for emphasis. “Then track it online with Ballottrax. Do NOT vote twice (it’s a felony), or waste your time, or unnecessarily risk exposure to more people.”
“The only GOOD thing about the president’s tweet is that he FINALLY encourages voters to VOTE BY MAIL. It’s an easy, safe, and secure way to cast a ballot,” Stein added, linking to North Carolina’s Absentee Ballot Request Portal.
NORTH CAROLINA: Do NOT do what the President directs. To make sure your ballot COUNTS, sign and send it in EARLY. Then track it ONLINE with BALLOTTRAX. Do NOT vote twice (it’s a felony), or waste your time, or unnecessarily risk exposure to more people. https://t.co/jOKYoR4hnr https://t.co/1cF6tJoHA4— Josh Stein (@JoshStein_) September 12, 2020
Stein’s tweets came after Trump repeated advice he originally offered during a trip to North Carolina earlier this month.
“NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign and send it in EARLY,” the president tweeted Saturday morning. “When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!”
In a statement issued a day after Trump’s visit to the state, Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, reminded residents that “attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so… is a violation of North Carolina law.”
Critics warned that the president’s recommendation could sow further chaos on Election Day by driving voters who have already cast mail-in ballots to in-person polling places, lengthening lines and increasing the risk of spreading Covid-19.
If you live in NC, you can check your ballot ONLINE: https://t.co/NDRJVya0Mc Do not attempt to vote twice. Don't make polling lines longer. Don't risk your health or the health of others. JUST OPEN YOUR WEB BROWSER. https://t.co/XsV9IStVqL— GovTrack.🇺🇸 (@govtrack) September 12, 2020
“Trump’s goal here,” said attorney Susan Simpson, “is to cause the 2020 election to be the biggest clusterfuck the U.S. has ever seen.”
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