Trump Just Contradicted His Own Mail-In Voting Message With a Bizarre Tweet Urging Floridians to Vote By Mail
In the face of the pandemic that's killed nearly 160 thousand Americans, Democratic lawmakers have been calling for expanded voting by mail measures that would allow voters to safely vote through the postal system rather than potentially contracting the virus by waiting in line to vote in person.
The President is a vocal opponent of voting by mail, claiming that voters should only be able to vote by mail if it's impossible for them to physically be at their polling place.
Trump and his administration falsely claim that voter fraud is rampant within voting by mail elections. Trump recently called "mail-in voting" a "new phenomenon" in a recent Axios interview with Jonathan Swan. Swan reminded the President that voting by mail has been around since the Civil War.
Now, in a recent tweet, the President did a dizzying about-face.
The President now believes that voting by mail is completely safe—if you're a voter in the crucial swing state of Florida.
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
Without Florida's 29 electoral votes, Trump's already shrinking pathways to reelection victory practically vanish, and Republicans actually benefit from expanded mail voting in the Sunshine State.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, an average of 55 thousand more Republicans voted by mail in 2016 and 2018 than Democrats.
The Tampa Bay Times piece went on to quote Joe Gruters, the chair of Florida's Republican party, who said:
"In Florida, the Republicans have pretty much dominated (vote by mail) in the last two decades."
This has left Florida Republicans navigating the unenviable position of encouraging their supporters to vote by mail while also defending Trump's claims that voting by mail is unreliable.
A recent mailer from the Florida Republican party included a tweet from Trump which endorsed absentee voting, but the party blurred out the next sentences decrying voting by mail.
Trump's latest tweet on the matter suggests he's become aware that expanded vote by mail measures in Florida benefit him.
#Trump is fine with vote-by-mail or absentee voting when he believes it will benefit him & GOP candidates. Anywhere else, he thinks it's terrible.
Polls show he is going to lose, so he wants to make it more difficult for who will vote against him to vote. https://t.co/URs8xsnIso
— Steven Pifer (@steven_pifer) August 4, 2020
Allow me to translate: someone told him that he's scaring his elderly supporters in Florida away from vote-by-mail and it's gonna hurt him so hence this. https://t.co/mPAlUlfpiV
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 4, 2020
Folks, this is the ish I've been talking about. NOW #VoteByMail is ok? For one state? You troll so hard, Trump. So hard.
If vote by mail is good enough for Florida, it's good enough for America. EVERYBODY gets to Vote and don't let Trump punk you! Register. Request your ballot! https://t.co/lCaTczz830
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) August 4, 2020
1) Florida is fast at counting mail ballots.
2) Florida is filled with seniors.
3) If Trump discourages Republicans from voting absentee there during a pandemic, Biden wins the state, and thus the whole election, ON ELECTION NIGHT.
4) Ergo, the below tweet. https://t.co/Uben7QTbs8
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) August 4, 2020
When you realize Republicans vote-by-mail too: https://t.co/fEm2Y2DCn6
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) August 4, 2020
But the sudden endorsement of voting by mail in one state wasn't the only change in position Trump took. He also appeared to admit that "Vote by Mail" and "Absentee Voting" are virtually one and the same.
In the past, Trump has frequently made questionable distinctions between mail-in voting and absentee voting.
In which he admits that absentee and mail-in ballots are the same exact thing.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) August 4, 2020
Cool thing about this Tweet, is President admits:
1) Vote-by-Mail is exact same as Absentee-Voting.
2) Vote-by-Mail is a Safe & Secure way to vote.
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) August 4, 2020
OMFG you are an idiot.https://t.co/9M4zkYxF5h
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) August 4, 2020
Finally, he admits that Mail-in-ballots and Absentee ballots are the same exact thing.
Soon, he will learn that Florida and other states have the exact same system.
— Chidi®️ (@ChidiNwatu) August 4, 2020