Trump may have voted in individual in Florida this yr however selected to not

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Trump did not cease at that web site or any of the 15 different early voting areas in Palm Seashore County that had been opening that day. By the point the library opened for voting at 10 a.m., Trump had already arrived at his golf course — whose major entrance is throughout Summit Boulevard from the library. When he departed the course hours later, he did not cease to vote both.

“We’re not going to destroy this nation by permitting issues like that to occur. We’re not destroying our nation,” he stated.

On the similar time, he has acknowledged there are some acceptable cases of mail-in voting — equivalent to his personal.

“Absentee is OK: You are sick. You are away. For example, I’ve to do an absentee as a result of I am voting in Florida, and I occur to be President. I stay in that very lovely home over there that is painted white,” he stated from the Rose Backyard on Tuesday.

Over the previous month, Trump and his aides have repeatedly defined his absentee vote as essential as a result of he was busy finishing up his position out-of-state.

” why I voted? As a result of I occurred to be within the White Home and I will not have the ability to go to Florida and vote,” Trump stated in April.

“In case you’re President of america and for those who vote in Florida, and you may’t be there, you need to have the ability to ship in a poll,” he stated final week at a manufacturing unit in Michigan.

“If any person has to mail it in as a result of they’re sick or, by the way in which, as a result of they stay within the White Home and so they should vote in Florida and so they will not be in Florida — if there is a purpose for it, that is okay,” he stated on the White Home South Garden final week.

Earlier this month, his spokeswoman reiterated that the President’s resolution to solid a poll by mail was primarily based on his lack of ability to vote in Florida.

“The President is, in any case, the President, which suggests he is right here in Washington; he is unable to solid his vote down in Florida, his state of residence,” press secretary Kayleigh McEnany stated. “So, for him, that is why he needed to do a mail-in vote. However he helps mail-in voting for a purpose, when you’ve gotten a purpose that you’re unable to be current.”

However for Trump, choices did exist to vote in individual. He was yards away from a polling place throughout his last go to to Mar-a-Lago earlier than the pandemic ended widespread journey in mid-March.

Trump spent March 7, March eight and a part of March 9 in Palm Seashore and visited his golf membership thrice over the weekend. Trump and his spouse, first woman Melania Trump, modified their authorized residence from New York to Palm Seashore final fall.

Early voting within the county started on March 7, and lasted by March 15, the Palm Seashore County Supervisor of Elections confirmed to CNN on Wednesday. Polls had been open from 10 a.m. to six p.m.

The checklist of 15 early voting areas included the Essential Palm Seashore County Library, on Summit Boulevard throughout from Trump’s membership. It additionally included seven different websites inside 15 miles of Mar-a-Lago, together with libraries in Palm Seashore Gardens, West Palm Seashore, Wellington, Lake Value and a group heart in Boynton Seashore.

Trump didn’t go to any of them that weekend. As an alternative, on March 9, Trump requested his mail-in poll, in line with the Palm Seashore County Supervisor of Elections web site. It was acquired for processing on March 16.

The White Home declined to touch upon Trump’s resolution to forgo early voting in Florida.

Prior to now, presidents have used a mixture of in-person and absentee voting to solid ballots whereas in workplace. President Barack Obama, who sought to make use of his appearances at polling areas to encourage People to vote themselves, voted early in Chicago through the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. He voted absentee in different contests. His spouse, Michelle Obama, is headlining an effort this yr to broaden mail-in and early voting.

Trump has spent the previous month railing in opposition to makes an attempt to broaden mail voting through the coronavirus, claiming with out proof that it may result in fraud. Many governors have stated that voting remotely is important amid a pandemic, however Trump and his aides have insisted it is too early to know whether or not in-person voting will probably be off-limits in November.

Earlier this month, CNN reported Trump was getting more and more engaged within the authorized battles unfolding throughout the nation over the difficulty of vote-by-mail, urging his political advisers to take an aggressive posture to counter Democratic lawsuits on the difficulty.

Specialists say there isn’t a proof that mail-in voting advantages one occasion over the opposite. And whereas Trump has claimed that mail-in voting will end in large fraud, consultants say fraud involving mail-in voting is uncommon. A majority of People favor altering election legal guidelines to permit everybody to vote by mail, in line with an April NBC/Wall Avenue Journal ballot, however Republicans are far much less doubtless than Democrats to agree.

On Wednesday, McEnany responded to a report within the Tampa Bay Instances that she herself had been recurrently voting absentee in Florida, a revelation that got here after her ardent protection of the President’s stance on the matter.

“Absentee voting has the phrase absent in it for a purpose. It means you are absent from the jurisdiction or unable to vote in individual,” she stated in an announcement. “President Trump is in opposition to the Democrat plan to politicize the coronavirus and broaden mass mail-in voting with out a purpose, which has a excessive propensity for voter fraud. This can be a easy distinction that the media fails to understand.”

Within the assertion, McEnany didn’t precisely describe the voting system in Florida. In accordance with the Florida Division of Elections, folks can vote by mail with out providing an excuse — a extra expansive definition than “absentee voting.”

“Vote-by-mail refers to voting a poll acquired by mail or picked up by or for a voter as a substitute of going to the polls to vote throughout early voting interval or Election Day. Besides on Election Day, no excuse is required to vote a vote-by-mail poll,” the Division of Elections says on its web site.

Jim Acosta and Abby Phillip contributed to this report.

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