Speed Reads

fact check the vote

Trump calls mail-in ballots 'dishonest' but says absentee ballots are 'fine.' They're the same thing.

President Trump's campaign against mail-in voting relies on a fundamental misunderstanding of what the process even is.

Even amid a global pandemic that makes it dangerous to gather in public and definitely dangerous to vote in person, Trump has railed against the safer option of mass mail-in voting. He repeated his false claim that mail-in voting is wracked with fraud in a Friday tweet, but then decided "absentee ballots are fine because you have to go through a precise process to get your voting privilege." There's one big problem with that: Absentee and mail-in ballots are the same thing.

Despite what Trump says, getting a ballot by mail — an absentee ballot, one might say — in most states requires filing an application complete with one's signature. Five states have all-mail elections and haven't faced any major issues or fraud throughout the years.

Trump has made this inequivalence between absentee and mail-in voting many times in the past. He's often used it to justify why he has voted by mail many times in the past even when there was no global health threat keeping him from going to the polls. Administration officials have also tried to claim mail-in voting is problematic despite using the process several times themselves.