Inconveniently Convenient
May 28, 2020

It is unclear why President Trump, who voted by mail in March, is suddenly so vehemently opposed to voting by mail. But he could have easily voted in person in March, CNN reports. Trump spent March 7-9 in Palm Beach, Florida, his new legal residence. Early voting started in Florida on March 7, and there were 15 early voting sites in Palm Beach, including eight within 15 miles of Mar-a-Lago, CNN notes. One of those sites, Main Palm Beach County Library, is literally across the road from the entrance to Trump's golf club, which he visited three times that weekend.

When asked why he votes by mail, Trump says "absentee" voting is fine. "As an example, I have to do an absentee because I'm voting in Florida, and I happen to be president," living in the White House, he said Tuesday in the Rose Garden. "If you're president of the United States and if you vote in Florida, and you can't be there, you should be able to send in a ballot," Trump said in Michigan last week.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who voted by mail in Florida at least 11 times in the past decade, said last week that Trump is "unable to cast his vote down in Florida," so "that's why he had to do a mail-in vote. But he supports mail-in voting for a reason, when you have a reason that you are unable to be present." She tweeted Wednesday that "absentee voting" means "you're absent from the jurisdiction or unable to vote in person." Florida, like many states, doesn't require an excuse to vote by mail — all registered voters have to do is ask.

"Trump's hard line appears to be driven by his personal suspicions and concerns about his own re-election prospects," The Associated Press noted last month. He has said he thinks expanding vote-by-mail would increase participation in the 2020 election and doom Republican candidates nationwide — a study from Stanford University last week was the latest to find no partisan advantage from mail-in voting, or perhaps a slight boost for Republicans — and he falsely claims it increases vote fraud. Twitter's flagging of Trump's false claims was the proximate cause of Trump's threat to take unspecified actions against his favorite micro-blogging platform. Peter Weber

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