Donald Trump has suggested that voters in the US state of North Carolina should vote twice in the upcoming presidential election – once by vote and once by mail – to test the security of the system.
“So, let them send it in and let them go vote,” Trump said in an interview with local channel WECT-TV in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Wednesday when asked about the security of mail-in votes.
He continued: “If the system is as good as they say it is then obviously they won’t be able to vote [in person].”
Voting more than once in an election is illegal.
Activists raised concerns over Trump’s remarks, saying his suggestion violated the law and urging the public not take his words literally.
“Casting two ballots is illegal. Don’t listen to the president”, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Twitter.
US attorney general William Barr said on Wednesday that mail-in ballots for the November 3 election could be vulnerable to fraud, echoing an argument Trump has made to denounce the use of voting by mail.
Trump has previously said the voting method is susceptible to large-scale fraud, though experts say voter fraud of any kind is extremely rare in the US.
Voting by mail is not a new process for the nation – nearly one in four voters cast presidential ballots in 2016 that way.
A record number of mail-in ballots are expected for the presidential election due to concerns about in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump has accused Democrats of trying to steal the election by pushing the use of mail-in voting, with the president’s reelection campaign recently suing states like New Jersey and Nevada for expanding access to mail-in voting.
Democrats have said Trump and fellow Republicans are attempting to suppress the vote to help their side.