Trump, who is trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden
in polls, has repeatedly warned in recent weeks without evidence
that mail-in voting could result in widespread fraud.
Voting by mail has been embraced as a way to limit exposure to
the coronavirus, though the system to do so will vary from state
to state. Most absentee ballots are also conducted by mail.
On Tuesday, Trump said that in Florida, where he has voted
absentee, there was no difference between "vote by mail" or
absentee voting, and urged voters in the state to trust their
"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," Trump wrote.
He told reporters at a briefing later on Tuesday that Florida
has had two "great" Republican governors and "they've been able
to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally."
Trump contrasted Florida with the June 23 Democratic primary
election involving U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney of New
York, which has yet to be called amid a court fight over
disputed absentee ballots.
Thea McDonald, deputy national press secretary for the Trump
campaign, said in a statement that what most states called
absentee voting had long been termed 'vote-by-mail' in Florida.
Florida's absentee voting system requires voters to proactively
request a ballot be mailed to them, signature matching and voter
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a
briefing that the president was mainly concerned with "mass
mail-out voting," such as those planned in Nevada and
California's Los Angeles County, but did not have a problem with
Trump on Monday vowed to sue Nevada, which plans to send mail-in
ballots to every voter ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential
Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington already conduct
their elections entirely by mail, while California and Vermont
have decided to do so this year due to the pandemic.
The issue has spawned partisan litigation in dozens of states
over issues like absentee ballots and signature requirements.
Democrats and voting rights groups have warned that cost-saving
measures instituted at the Postal Service by a Trump financial
backer who is now the postmaster general could lead to delays in
service just as voting by mail ramps up.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler, Sonya
Hepinstall and Gerry Doyle)
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