In light of the upcoming general election, President Donald J. Trump has been quite busy traversing the campaign trail and fulfilling his presidential duties across the country. With his time in such high demand, it can be difficult for the commander in chief to keep in-person appointments — like, say, voting. Despite his continual and baseless criticisms of it, you might be wondering, did Donald Trump vote by mail in 2020? Well, the answer is kind of yes, kind of no.
On Saturday, Oct. 24, President Donald J. Trump joined millions of Americans in casting an early in-person ballot for the upcoming presidential election in West Palm Beach, Florida, per Business Insider. "It was a very secure vote," the president said. "Much more secure than when you send in a ballot," he added. This is the first time the president has voted in-person in since switching his state residency from New York to Florida, where he is registered to vote at the address of his Mar-a-Lago resort.
On several occasions in the past, Trump has made numerous baseless statements denouncing the legitimacy of the mail-in ballot system, criticizing it as fraud-ridden voting method that would render false or inaccurate results in the 2020 election. During a Sept. 29 White House press conference, the president condemned the use of mail-in ballots: “[they're] a disaster," he stated. "Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation,” he added. In September, FBI Director Christopher Wray publicly confirmed to Congress that despite the president's claims, there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
However, he voted by mail earlier this year. On Monday, Aug. 17, the Palm Beach County Elections Office reported that it had received a mail-in ballot from the president, as well as from first lady Melania Trump, just one day before the state primary elections. Although the pair failed to meet the deadline to request their mail-in ballots 10 days before Election Day, they took advantage of a rule that allowed them to pick up the ballots up in-person. Instead of showing up himself, the president reportedly had a representative ferry the mail-in ballots along while he attended a rally in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on that very same day.
Ironically, the rally was one of the many times when he baselessly criticized mail-in voting, despite taking advantage of it himself. During that rally, he claimed that "the only way we're going to lose this election is if [it's] rigged." He then went on to denounce the U.S. Postal Service (USPS): "Right now it's a laughingstock," he said, criticizing the public service for supposedly losing "hundreds of billions of dollars delivering these packages." He then added, "we’re going to make our post office strong. We’re going to make our post office really strong and really great." On Jun. 15, Trump appointed Louis DeJoy, a longtime Republican donor, as U.S. Postmaster General. Since then, there have been numerous reports that the USPS has been uncharacteristically mired with confusion and inefficiency. Representatives for the USPS did not previously reply to Elite Daily's request for comment regarding DeJoy's appointment and problems with the USPS.
As of Oct. 27, a record-breaking 70 million Americans have already participated in early voting for the upcoming presidential election, according to The Washington Post. As millions more ballots have yet to be counted, only time will tell how Trump's claims of voter fraud may affect the election's outcome. Indeed, it seems like Trump has no problem with taking advantage of the mail-in method himself.