An election that is already tainted
Trump has no reservations about using the authority of the presidency to mess with democracy. After all, he was impeached for an audacious attempt to coerce a foreign power — Ukraine — into intervening in the election to hurt Biden’s campaign. And he has consistently rejected his own intelligence agencies’ assessments that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help him — once, infamously at the side of President Vladimir Putin.
Whether the President is seeking to construct a face-saving exit from power if he loses in November or is mounting a more overt effort to stack the deck, one thing is clear: Given his fervent support among tens of millions of Americans, the election — the bedrock of the country’s democratic government and rule by the people for the people — has already been deeply tarnished.
Trump’s warning could spark chaos at polling places
He seemed to suggest in an interview with a local station in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Wednesday that people should vote once by mail, then show up at their polling place to see if their preference had been registered.
“Well, they’ll go out and they’ll go vote, and they’re going to have to go and 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,” Trump said.
“So let them send it in, and let them go vote, and if the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated they won’t be able to vote, so that’s the way it is. And that’s what they should do.”
Trump’s advice could lead to considerable chaos and recriminations at polling stations if it is followed by thousands of Republican voters. It could also lengthen the time that it takes for votes to be counted. Trump is already raising likely delays in tabulating results to claim, falsely, that the election is not secure.
There is also no current evidence to support his implication that significant numbers of mail-in votes could go astray or not be counted in the Tar Heel state. The North Carolina State Board of Elections says in voter advice on its website that there are “numerous safeguards”…
Read More: Trump won’t stop interfering in the election