President Donald Trump told voters in Pennsylvania on Thursday not to trust their mail-in ballot, urging them to vote in person too if the vote was not tabulated.
“Sign your mail-in ballot. You sign it and send it in, and then you have to follow it,” Trump said. “And if, on election day or early voting, that is not tabulated and counted, you go vote.”
The president commented on the voting process during an airport rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on Thursday evening.
The president suggested that election officials in the state would be able to sort out the difference if the mail-in ballot actually worked.
“Then, if for some reason after that – it shouldn’t take that long – it comes in, they’re not going to be able to tabulate it because you will have voted,” Trump said. “But you have to make sure your vote counts.”
The president also made a similar recommendation to voters in North Carolina on Wednesday in an interview with WECT News. He said:
They are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way, because if it tabulates, then they won’t be able to do that. So let them send it in, and let them go vote. And if their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they will be able to vote.
Trump’s comments drew instant criticism from the corporate media, who interpreted his remarks as a call for his supporters to vote twice.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that the president was not encouraging his supporters to commit voter fraud.
“The president is not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful. What he said very clearly there is: make sure your vote is tabulated, and if it is not, then vote,” McEnany said in an interview on Fox News.
The president also clarified his recommendation on Twitter.
….after you Vote, which it should not, that Ballot will not be used or counted in that your vote has already been cast & tabulated. YOU ARE NOW ASSURED THAT YOUR PRECIOUS VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED, it hasn’t been “lost, thrown out, or in any way destroyed”. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020
Twitter responded by censoring the president’s message on Twitter for “encouraging people to potentially vote twice.”
We placed a public interest notice on two Tweets in this thread for violating our Civic Integrity Policy, specifically for encouraging people to potentially vote twice. https://t.co/UU9kJfqptz
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 3, 2020
The president’s comment was also censored on Facebook, as a spokesperson said it “violates our policies prohibiting voter fraud.”