President Donald Trump came out Tuesday in his home state of Florida to attempt a vote – after spending months blowing up the nationwide postal vote as a fraud.
Trump, who is voting by absenteeism himself in Florida – a state he resided in after leaving New York with higher taxes – made the surprising turn on Twitter after a series of polls showed he liked the Democrat Joe Biden is lagging behind in the state.
He then defended the move in a press conference on Tuesday evening in which his first justification for his position was that the state has a "great Republican governor".
"Florida has a great Republican governor," said Trump, asking why he supported postal voting there
Trump was referring to the ultra-Trump-loyalist Governor Ron DeSantis.
"Florida has a great Republican governor," said Trump, highlighting DeSantis and predecessor Governor Rick Scott.
"For a long time, they have been able to vote by mail extremely professionally," he said. "Florida is different from other states."
He added, "Florida has been working on this for years and they have a very good mail-in system."
But it undid Nevada's attempt to send a ballot to every state vote when it voted on the coronavirus – a move that led Trump to threaten a lawsuit earlier.
"In the case of Nevada, they're going to vote in a few weeks. You can't do that," Trump said.
Trump also cited Florida's low taxes, a factor in his decision to move his domicile and stop paying taxes in New York, where he has a business and a penthouse apartment in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
"They are so well run. Florida is a very well run state, low taxes, everything low," said Trump.
However, he declined a follow-up question about why he was against mail-in voting in other states.
Trump was asked about his surprise tweet on Tuesday when he came out for the Florida mail-in vote.
"Whether you call it absentee ballot or absentee ballot, the Florida voting system is safe and secure, tried and true," wrote Trump.
"Florida's voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated the Democrats' attempts to change) so I encourage everyone in Florida to request a vote and vote by mail!" Trump added. He concluded his letter by writing & # 39; # MAGA & # 39; – his slogan & # 39; Make America Great Again & # 39 ;.
Trump has made a U-turn in the mail-in vote, at least as far as his home state of Florida is concerned
The administration has repeatedly flagged mail-in voting procedures with many cases of fraud
Trump praised Florida's electoral system despite the state's national reputation for dysfunctional ballot counting, including during the controversial 2000 presidential election that led to the landmark decision by Bush against Gore, Supreme Court.
The flip comes days after Florida Senator Marco Rubio told reporters he was "not at all worried" about mail-in polls at its stage that housed large numbers of elderly residents as well as a COVID-19 spike are.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who, like Trump, votes by postal vote in Florida, denied that the president would make a U-turn.
"He was very clear that the consequences of having this mass mailout vote are real," she said. She pointed to a suspected election fraud case in Patterson, New Jersey, which Trump has also pointed out.
Trump threatened to go to court Monday to prevent Nevada from sending ballots to voters.
Trump is on average 6 percentage points behind Biden on RealClearPolitics Florida.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who, like Trump, votes by postal vote in Florida, denied that the president would make a U-turn
Trump has repeatedly bashed the postal vote with an offer rival Joe Biden and some Democrats are considering to undermine the outcome of the election.
& # 39; I want to have a choice. But I don't want to have to wait three months to find out that all the ballots are missing and the election means nothing. That will happen, "said Trump on Thursday at a press conference. "Postal ballots will lead to the greatest fraud," he said.
Some Trump allies have raised concerns that his harsh rhetoric about mail-in votes could ultimately suppress his own vote in some areas.
Trump warned again in a new interview of the danger of postal voting fraud, claiming that the election could be delayed by its unprecedented scale.
"You know, you could have a case where that election won't be decided on the evening of November 3rd. That choice could be decided two months later." Trump said Axios.
The President added: “We have a new phenomenon, mail-in voting. It's new to the type of millions and millions of ballot papers. So they're going to be sending tens of millions of ballots to California everywhere.
"I have a friend who lives in Westchester County, his son died … He called me and said," I just got one – I just got a ballot for my son Robert. "He died seven years ago."
“Someone got a ballot for a dog, someone got a ballot for something else. You got millions of ballots going, nobody knows where they're going. & # 39;
Trump has increasingly tried to question the election and the expected increase in mail-in and postal votes due to the pandemic – especially because he is lagging behind in public and private polls.
Trump has called remote voting options the "greatest risk" to re-election. His campaign and the Republican Party sued to combat the practice that was once a significant asset to the GOP.
On Monday, Trump told a press conference at the White House that he was empowered to issue an executive order on postal ballot papers.
"I have the right to do so," Trump told reporters at a press conference in the White House. "We haven't got there yet, we'll see what happens."
Trump added that Republicans plan to file lawsuits as early as Tuesday to try to block Nevada's expansion of the mail-in voting.
President Donald Trump (R) and Vice President Mike Pence (L) attend a roundtable of stakeholders who are positively influenced by law enforcement in the East Room of the White House last month
Almost all electoral processes are regulated from state to state, the rest is set by Congress or anchored in the constitution.
There is no precedent or obvious authority for Trump to attempt to restrict the use of postal ballot papers by order of the executive, although he could use a document to formalize his opposition to the practice.
Trump's alleged authority comes days after publicly announcing a November 3rd presidential election delay, a performance that met with a swift bipartisan setback.
There is no evidence of widespread postal voting fraud, and the states that use it say they have the necessary safeguards in place to ensure that a hostile foreign actor does not disrupt the vote.
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about his plans to combat racial inequality at a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, on July 28, 2020
Election security experts say election fraud is rare in all forms of voting, including by post.
In addition to his fraud allegations, Trump argued that a postal vote would delay the determination of the election winner, noting that the winner of a primary vote of the Democratic Congress in New York mailed weeks ago remains undeclared. Trump said he believed the race had to be "repeated".
Trump claimed the challenge would be greater in a presidential election, where electoral college choices could be limited to just one state, and some states allow postal ballot papers to be received for up to a week after election day.
"You will never know who won this state," Trump said Monday of Nevada's expansion of postal voting.
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