• The Financial District


US President Donald Trump has urged residents of North Carolina to try to vote twice in the Nov. 3 election, once by mail and once in person, causing a furor for appearing to openly urge a potential act of voter fraud, Reuters reported late on September 3.

“Let them send it in and let them go vote,” Trump said in an interview on Wednesday with WECT-TVin Wilmington, North Carolina. “And if the system is as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote” in person.

Trump has repeatedly asserted, without evidence, that mail-in voting - expanded by some states because of the coronavirus pandemic - would increase fraud and disrupt the November election, although experts say voter fraud of any kind is extremely rare in the US at about 0.0000029 percent. Trump, after comments on voting twice, says voters should check mail-in ballots at the polls.

The White House said Trump's North Carolina remarks were not meant to encourage illegal voting with North Carolina. Voting twice or inciting others to do so is a felony in the state. The North Carolina State Board of Elections had no immediate comment on Trump’s remarks. “The president is not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News Channel on Thursday. “What he said very clearly there is make sure your vote is tabulated and if it is not then vote,” she added.

The state’s Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, responded on Twitter, writing that Trump, a Republican, had “outrageously encouraged” North Carolinians “to break the law in order to help him sow chaos in our election.” Stein wrote: “Make sure you vote, but do NOT vote twice! I will do everything in my power to make sure the will of the people is upheld in November.”

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