The Republican strategist, who has been informally advising Trump’s campaign, said Karl Rove, “They should encourage people to do so if it makes them feel more comfortable,”.
Unlike the president, Trump’s own campaign has spent weeks pleading through Facebook ads, a dedicated website to mail supporters in 17 ballots in their ballots. robocalls Donald Trump Jr., narrated by the president’s son.
“If you’re Donald Trump, you need every vote you can get, no matter how you can get it,” said Scott Jennings, who worked under President George W. Bush and the Trump White House. Are close to “We are in a close race. The president must tell his supporters to vote either way – and as soon as possible. “
Many Trump aides say the president’s concerns about mail-in voting are legitimate – primarily his claim that unsolicited ballot and ballot applications will be sent to cast millions. But he argues that in an epidemic when many people are expected to avoid elections, it is more important for Republicans to vote, though they can.
Four additional Republicans familiar with the situation said the point was made early for Trump, with advisers urging him to state that he relied on some form of remote voting. And in August, the message appeared like – drowned.
Trump began to make a distinction between absentee voting and requests for universal remote voting. And they suddenly started putting supporters in Florida To request mail-in ballots, back-to-back Republican governors had cleaned up the process in the crucial battleground.
But Trump continued his almost daily fares about election rigging in a massive electoral fraud and in tweets, interviews and speeches. And then last week, while on another loophole about remote voting, Trump poked out To encourage a fresh flurry of concerns by all allies – by mail and in person – to encourage North Carolina residents to give two ballots illegally. Even despite condemnation from some Republican election officials, Trump is still urging his supporters to go to the polling stations on Election Day to see that his mail-in ballot was received. Raising the status of.
Already this year, about 1,000 people Tried to To vote twice in Georgia’s primary and runoff elections. Another 40 did the same PennsylvaniaIs primary.
A former White House official said, “Hale, he’s been told for four years that he needs to be more precise with his language.” “The problem with saying stupid stuff is that it helps the other party represent legitimate concerns.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he believed North Carolina’s statement was a joke, but Trump’s lines should be “vetoed” in advance – but he knows that would be far from the president’s popular style.
“Which is part of his work,” Gingrich said. “She is very lively. That phlegm is closed. But there is a lot of danger in having this kind of style. “
Millions of Americans are expected to cast their ballots by mail this year – in many Republican-majority states and swing states where GOP voting is important for Trump. According to the Washington Post-University of Maryland, a third of registered voters said they preferred sending their ballot vote Released on Thursday, even though only 3 out of 10 say they are “very confident” if they do so their vote will be accurately counted.
Many Trump aides say that culturally, more Republicans prefer to vote in person on election day than Democrats, but that could change with the epidemic this year.
Trump’s push against mail-in voting began in the spring as the epidemic continued and his poll numbers against Democrat Joe Biden fell nationally and on the battlefield.
There are indications that Trump’s language may be backfiring. Recent vote The show Republicans have become increasingly concerned about voting from afar, while Democrats are replacing Republican requests for absentee ballots in some swing states, including North Carolina, the first state in the country to send absentee ballots.
A former White House official admitted Trump should be “outspoken”.
A former Trump aide agreed, “Whenever you have a president, there is confusion in that process, there is a huge risk.”
Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, who are trying to hang onto the Senate and run the House again, have broken up with Trump on the issue. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said voting by mail would not be fraudulent.
“The election is going to be fine,” McConnell said last month in his home state of Kentucky. “Many parts of our country vote by mail. Oregon, Washington and Colorado have voted by mail for years. There is nothing we can or should do, the federal government, to direct those states how they vote. ”
Recently, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Axios said he warned Trump that his language could harm the party.
“Republicans should embrace it,” said Rob Stutzman, a Republican political strategist based in Sacramento, California. “It’s crazy the president is destroying trust in this.”
Democrats – and even some Republicans – suspect Trump is being tried to undermine confidence in the election or fight possible losses in November.
The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment about his colleagues’ concerns about the president’s language. Instead, he blamed the media for not properly reporting the president’s position.
“It’s amazing that the media can insist that voter fraud doesn’t exist to scream about it when President Trump points to giant holes in Democrats’ voting plans,” said Tim Murto, the campaign’s communications director.
White House press secretary Kayle McNee has also blamed the media, arguing the press commented Trump’s dual voting out of context in North Carolina. He said that Trump was only trying to explain that voters could see on Election Day whether they had received their ballots, and have held a provisional vote if they had not.
“What I would say is that the president has determined it very clearly: you should verify your vote,” she said. “The president wants enfranchisement, plain and simple.”
Trump has attempted to differentiate between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots, saying the latter has additional security measures and only go to those who request them. But across the country, this distinction appears insignificant, with election officials saying the ballots look the same. Some states even use the name interchangeably or use a single word for all mail-in ballots.
Election expert Richard Hassan of the University of California at Irvine School of Law said, Trump believes that more fraud occurs when a state sends voters according to the request of voters to send voters.
“This is not true of states that regularly conduct all vote-by-mail elections, and I did not see widespread fraudulent reports in the Nevada primary, where they sent a ballot to every registered voter.”
But there are still several potential problems with mail-in voting: voting rolls that determine who receives a ballot may be incorrect, ballots may be sent to the wrong address or lost in the mail, or Voters may opt out for not following their ballot. Instructions, to not have a proper signature or to keep a name that does not exactly match the information on file with election officials.
Trump’s aides say they want to change voting based on the need for mail to build the infrastructure needed to handle outgoing and incoming ballots, citing 319,000 mailed ballots that were thrown out in 2016 Were given, failed to follow several directions or missed in many directions. time limit.
This year, voters have already filed complaints about the timeliness of receiving a ballot from the Belgaum United States Postal Service in their state primaries.
Hans von Spkowski, who manages the conservative Legacy Foundation’s election law reform initiative, said Trump’s advice is necessary to confirm your ballot.
“Given the many complaints from voters in the state’s priorities that their absentee ballots were not delivered on time by the US Postal Service, it is a wise call,” he said.
Trump has criticized most Democratic states for their voting policies, but Republican officials also have Detailed Vote-by-mail program.
Five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington – already conduct elections by mail with absolutely few problems. In 2020, four states – California, Vermont, New Jersey, Nevada – plus Washington, DC, plan to send ballots to all registered voters. Ten others, including Arizona, Wisconsin and Iowa, will send ballot applications to everyone.
Some states will allow coronaviruses as a reason to vote by mail, although voters in most other states may request a mail-in ballot without assigning a reason.
Trump’s campaign and the RNC have already taken to the courts dozens of times as part of a $ 20 million effort to challenge voting rules. His colleagues and outside consultants started Scrambling He may curb mail-in voting to indicate possible executive actions, though they are yet to respond.
Trump’s outside advisor credited both early voting and absentee voting as helping Trump secure a safe victory in 2016, and the president adapted his vote by mail language to show its importance this year.
“He’s gotten better,” the consultant said. He said, “They have done a lot better. He respected her message. “