Donald Trump tells North Carolina voters to submit ballot twice

3 September 2020, 18:04

Donald Trump made the comments twice on his visit to North Carolina
Donald Trump made the comments twice on his visit to North Carolina. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Donald Trump has encouraged his supporters to vote twice in the upcoming presidential election as a way to test the postal system.

The US president made his plea twice during a visit to North Carolina - first in an interview with WECT-TV and again to supporters at Wilmington airport - and said voters should initially send their ballot by mail, before turning up to a polling station in person.

"If their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote," Mr Trump told the news channel, adding in a later appeal: "You can't let them take your vote away.

"These people are playing dirty politics - dirty politics. So if you have an absentee ballot or, as I call it, a solicited ballot.. you send it in, but I would check it, in any event, I would go and follow it and go vote."

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Americans are due to cast their votes on 3 November to choose a leader - but the incumbent has already criticised plans to expand mail voting as "tremendous fraud".

This has been rejected by the Federal Election Commission, which said there was "simply no basis for the conspiracy theory that voting by mail causes fraud".

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Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Trump also made a VJ Day speech in Wilmington as he said the location was a "Heritage City".

Standing in front of a Second World War battleship, he pointed to a lightning bolt and claimed it was a sign of God saluting the event.

Mr Trump also took a swipe at political rival Joe Biden by comparing him to 97-year-old Hershel "Woody" Williams, a war veteran and the sole surviving marine from the war to receive the Medal of Honour.

"He's 100% sharp," Mr Trump said to describe Mr Williams, who had accompanied the president aboard Air Force One.

Referring to Mr Biden, he added: "I know a 78-year-old who's not so sharp."

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Despite White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany previously insisting that Mr Trump's visit to North Carolina had nothing to do with the election, he still made time to criticise his opponent.

He said: "This is the most important election in the history of our country. I really believe that, because we're running against people that have got some big issues.

"They have got some big, big problems. They're stone cold crazy."

Mr Trump won North Carolina by 3.6 percentage points in 2016, but polls are currently showing a tight race between him and Mr Biden.