Donald Trump, Jr. now earns this prestigious award.
Donald Trump Jr. is urging voters to cast absentee ballots in robocalls detected across the nation Wednesday — even as his father continues to rail against widespread mail-in voting.
The robocalls, which reference this week’s Republican National Convention have been deployed in 13 states — Arizona, Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Texas and Maine — all states the Trump campaign is targeting. They indicate that either the Trump campaign or Republican National Committee has already mailed absentee-ballot requests to those being called.
It’s just one of the ways the Trump campaign is pushing voters to cast mail-in ballots. It has been targeting counties in battleground states where absentee ballots made a difference in 2016, urging supporters through a website to request ballots and running Facebook ads that state “Absentee ballots are GOOD. I need you to get your application and send in your absentee ballot IMMEDIATELY.” President Donald Trump even requested an absentee ballot himself to vote in Florida’s recent primary.
Trump’s assault on mail-in voting began in the spring, when he started warning there would be massive voter fraud if much of the country voted remotely, despite no evidence to back up the claims. The Republican Party and the Trump campaign have since filed lawsuits to restrict mail-in-voting measures in numerous states. Trump occasionally tries to distinguish between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots, saying the latter have additional safeguards and go only to those who request them. But election officials say the ballots look identical. Some states even use the names interchangeably or use a single term for all mail-in ballots.
A spokeswoman for the RNC, which paid for the calls, said the calls are “completely in-line” with Trump’s message. “The RNC has and will continue to encourage voters to vote through the proper absentee process ‘safely and securely’ as the calls suggest, but we continue to stand against Democrats’ attempt to overhaul our elections systems and implement widespread vote by mail with no safeguards,” said Mandi Merritt, the RNC‘s national press secretary.
Experts say there is no difference between voting by mail and voting by absentee ballot.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.