In the face of a viral pathogen that's killed over 100 thousand Americans, local leaders across the country are scrambling to find ways to allow their citizens to exercise their right to vote without simultaneously jeopardizing their health.
Some states are working to expand voting by mail eligibility, allowing voters to avoid long lines and packed polling places where they could contract the virus.
President Donald Trump is no fan of that policy.
In recent days, the President has ranted on Twitter about voting by mail, falsely claiming that it allows for rampant voter fraud and could potentially sway the November election.
Some journalists have pushed back, asking Trump and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany why the President, a Florida resident, chooses to vote by mail. The reason, they say, is that the President is busy in Washington and unable to make it to Florida in person.
Trump said to reporters this past week:
"Absentee is OK: You're sick. You're away. As an example, 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."
The Trump administration's position is that voting by mail is permissible only when voting by person isn't a valid option.
McEnany echoed this:
"The President is, after all, the President, which means he's here in Washington; he's unable to cast his vote down in Florida, his state of residence...So, for him, that's why he had to do a mail-in vote. But he supports mail-in voting for a reason, when you have a reason that you are unable to be present."
But a recent article from CNN's Kevin Liptak shows that Trump wasn't away or sick during early voting for Florida's presidential primary.
Trump said Tuesday he couldn’t vote in person because “I live in that very beautiful house over there that's painte… https://t.co/uRc6Uyi17h— Kevin Liptak (@Kevin Liptak)1590669604.0
The President is a frequent visitor to West Palm Beach, Florida and his resort, Mar-a-Lago. That's where he was on March 7, when early voting for Florida's presidential preference primary began.
According to Liptak:
"By the time the library opened for voting at 10 a.m., Trump had already arrived at his golf course — whose main entrance is across Summit Boulevard from the library. When he departed the course hours later, he didn't stop to vote either.Trump would drive past the library four more times that weekend without dropping in to cast a ballot. Instead, he voted by mail -- the very option he has begun railing against as governors seek to expand remote voting amid the coronavirus pandemic."
Trump would remain in Florida until the 9, marking three days spent across from a polling place, but opting instead to vote by mail.
The hypocrisy of Trump and his press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was sadly unsurprising.
@ddale8 @SpiroAgnewGhost @Kevinliptakcnn You can always recognize when they're lying, because their lips are moving. That's the tell.— Gary Patrick Garry (@Gary Patrick Garry)1590627789.0
@ddale8 @Kevinliptakcnn A tee time or voting? I wonder which one Trump is going to pick.— The last wave (@The last wave)1590627843.0
@ddale8 @Kevinliptakcnn Of course, they lied.— The octopus said… (@The octopus said…)1590627673.0
@ddale8 @Kevinliptakcnn I truly think it's more plausible that I will grow feathers and take flight than I think it… https://t.co/WxDAGPwDAv— Market_DF (@Market_DF)1590627836.0
@ddale8 @Kevinliptakcnn He’s there more than the WH.— Dwayne (@Dwayne)1590628721.0
McEnany herself has voted by mail 11 times in the past 10 years.
@scontorno The Trump McEnany position is that Trumpists should be able to vote by mail, but no one else!— Norman Ornstein (@Norman Ornstein)1590596306.0
@scontorno Requesting an absentee ballot isn’t the issue. It’s sending ballots to every person on the state’s voter… https://t.co/flFXG8iQoP— Joe Hiden (@Joe Hiden)1590596366.0
Apparently voting by mail is fine...as long as Republicans do it.