President Streisand Effect's Ratf*cking Tweets Turn Into Helpful PSA On Mail-In Voting
Super Tuesday Usa GIF by Will Bryant

President LAWN ORDER is once again encouraging his followers to commit felonies and interfere with the electoral process.

"NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY," he scream tweeted on Saturday. "When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don't let them illegally take your vote away from you!"

Oh, no, not THEM!

Trump's tweet, the latest salvo in a battle to persuade his base that the only way he can lose an election where he consistently polls seven points behind is if the voting is rigged, was quickly encased in a hazmat bag of protective truth by Twitter's Safety team.

In a five-tweet thread, the site explained it is "limiting the circulation of Tweets which advise people to take actions which could be illegal in the context of voting or result in the invalidation of their votes," but leaving the tweet up without the ability to comment or retweet because of its inherent newsworthiness.

Whether Trump will succeed in convincing his voters the election will be stolen remains to be seen. But he's certainly managed to raise the profile of North Carolina's Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein, who just so happens to be up for re-election this cycle. Stein appeared on MSNBC with this weekend to explain again that voting twice is a crime, and "because Donald Trump told me to" is not a valid legal defense.

"I encourage every eligible voter out there, no matter your partisan affiliation, to participate and have your voice heard," Stein told host Kasie Hunt. "And in North Carolina, for eligible voters, it is safe, it's easy, and it's secure. You do not need to vote twice, and if you do what the president suggested, you run the risk of committing a felony in North Carolina. And I don't want anyone to commit a crime because of his terrible advice."

Stein's Twitter PSA response highlighted innovations in voting spurred both by the pandemic and the GOP's persistent cage-rattling about election security.

North Carolina, which began sending out ballots this week, will alert voters via text or email when their absentee ballot is mailed and returned, and will allow voters who submit defective ballots — by failure to have their ballot witnessed, for example — to "cure" their ballots and make them valid. A voter who received such an alert would have no reason whatsoever to show up at the polls and expose herself and her fellow North Carolinians to risk of catching coronavirus.

Well, almost no reason. If that person were attempting to act as a human hairball and clog up the pipes of democracy by making lines longer and wasting poll workers' time by "verifying" the status of her vote, following the president's advice would be a good way to do it.

But let's look on the bright side. What if that incompetent nincompoop in the Oval Office is the greatest turnout machine in American history? If the Democrats' toughest job this cycle was to educate voters about requesting and returning ballots as early as possible, forcing the media to print stories factchecking the president's constant lies about the process seems to have done the trick. Ditto for bigfooting the post office slowdown, which is vile and anti-democratic, but has Blue Team voters all but tackling the mailman in an effort to get those votes in ASAP.

Was anyone paying attention to ballot drop boxes before the Trump campaign made them a big deal by filing a bunch of stupid lawsuits to get them taken down? Great job, Team Trump!

Democrats are vastly outpacing Republicans in mail-in ballot requests, leading to projected "nightmare scenarios" where early tabulations show Trump leading in swing states because his voters dominate in-person voting on November 3. But Fox News reports that sixty percent of Americans expect to wake up on November 4 without a result in the presidential election. The fact that we're even having this discussion seven weeks out shows that the president's incessant howling has served to educate Americans as much as it has mis-educated his wackass base.

And if Trump wants to shoot his party in the dick by making sure every Democrat in America casts a ballot in October or even September and the majority of Americans wait patiently for every vote to be counted, well, who are we to argue?

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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