Donald Trump took to the Twitters today to explain that when he told people in North Carolina yesterday to vote by mail, and then vote again at the polls, he wasn't actually encouraging them to vote twice, which would be a felony. Heavens no! What he meant was something utterly different than what we all heard him say on video, because we are just kind of dumb when it comes to making sense of his word salad, you see?

What he really meant, you see, was that everyone should return their absentee ballots by mail, then go to their polling places on Election Day to check to see if their mail-in vote was recorded, and if it wasn't, then they should go ahead and vote in person.

Not that he could put it that succinctly.


Here, rather than make you read the disjointed tweets themselves, we'll copy them over into convenient block quote form. It won't make him any more articulate, but at least our weird platform won't eat the tweets.

Based on the massive number of Unsolicited & Solicited Ballots that will be sent to potential Voters for the upcoming 2020 Election, & in order for you to MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS & IS COUNTED, SIGN & MAIL IN your Ballot as EARLY as possible. On Election Day, or Early Voting,..

.....go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted). If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen's right to do). If your Mail In Ballot arrives....

....after you Vote, which it should not, that Ballot will not be used or counted in that your vote has already been cast & tabulated. YOU ARE NOW ASSURED THAT YOUR PRECIOUS VOTE HAS BEEN COUNTED, it hasn't been "lost, thrown out, or in any way destroyed". GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

So we beat on, Boats against the Current, BORNE BACK CEASELESSLY into the Past. Mein Fuhrer, I can VALK!! WOLVERINES!!!!!!

This, of course, is not quite what he said yesterday; instead, Trump gabbled it all together into a blender and it came out like this:

President Trump suggests NC voters should cast ballot twice to 'test the system' youtu.be


They will vote and then they are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates then they won't be able to do that. So let them send it in, and let them go vote. And if the system is as good as they say it is, then they obviously won't be able to vote (at the poll). If it isn't tabulated, they will be able to vote. So that's the way it is, and that's what they should do [...]

But send your ballots, send them in strong, whether it's solicited or unsolicited. The absentees are fine. But go to vote and if they haven't counted it, you can vote. That's the way I view it.

If you squint at that, you can even sort of see the vague outline of the "clarified" version in the murk. There's something about checking, and not being able to vote if the system works (along with a heavy dose of hinting that you'd be a fool to think the system will work), and so on. It's just missing, bigly, any explicit caution that no one should vote twice, because that's a felony in North Carolina and most other states (and even in the few states where it's a misdemeanor, voting twice in the same federal election is a federal crime everywhere).

Trump's "clarified" wordmess went out shortly after White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News Trump only sounded like he was calling on people to vote twice, but really wants to ensure the integrity of the vote.

The president is not suggesting anyone do anything unlawful [...] What he said very clearly there is make sure your [mail-in] vote is tabulated, and if it is not, then vote.

Right, he said it so clearly it merely sounded to everyone like he was saying vote by mail, then vote again at the polling place.

Mind you, even Trump's dance remix of his original derp is still exceptionally shitty advice, since North Carolina voters can simply track their ballots through the State Board of Elections website. And in fact, according to this handy-dandy tool from NBC News, all but eight states allow online tracking of mail-in ballots.

Whatever Trump thinks he meant (it's likely to change by the next time he's in front of a camera), his comments generated an intense WTF field, prompting North Carolina election officials to issue a statement emphasizing that intentionally voting twice is a Class 1 felony, and so is soliciting someone to vote twice, not that they had any particular malefactors in mind.

In a statement, Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the board, also discouraged voters from coming to the polls on Election Day to verify that their mail-in ballots had been counted.

"The State Board office strongly discourages people from showing up at the polls on Election Day to check whether their absentee ballot was counted," Bell said. "This is not necessary, and it would lead to longer lines and the possibility of spreading COVID-19."

Well damn, lady, you don't want to let anybody have any fun. Next you'll be telling Donald Trump he can't have a great big in person superspreader convention in Charlotte.

[Donald Trump on Twitter / NBC News / WaPo]

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