Trump switches position to endorse voting by mail — in Florida
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBT) — After months of slamming mail-in voting as a vehicle for massive voter fraud, President Donald Trump Tuesday switched tacks, encouraging voters in the critical swing state of Florida to vote by mail.
Trump’s comments followed large Democratic gains in the state when it comes to registering to vote by mail.
About 1.9 million Floridians have signed up as Democrats to vote by mail in November. That is almost 600,000 more than the Republicans have enlisted.
Asked during a White House news conference what makes the Sunshine State competent with absentee voting all of a sudden, Trump said Florida’s string of Republican governors has established a successful track record on mail-in ballots.
Democratic governors are less trustworthy, Trump indicated, echoing his contention that elections with mailed ballots would be rigged.
Trump specifically mentioned current Gov. Ron DeSantis and his predecessor, Rick Scott. He didn’t list Charlie Crist, who was a Republican when he was Florida governor from 2007 to 2011 but became a Democrat in 2012 and now serves in the U.S. House as a Democrat.
Also left unsaid was that Jeb Bush was the Republican governor in 2000, when the state’s controversial election tally ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court. Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote nationally. But the high court’s 5-4 decision to certify disputed votes in Florida gave George W. Bush the electoral college victory — more than a month after the election.
In 2016, both sides had about 1.3 million signed up before the general election. Trump himself voted by mail in the Florida primary this year.
Polls show that many voters favor mail-in ballots, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect of voters balking at lining up to vote in person at polls.
Associated Press reports contributed to this story.
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