President Donald Trump, whose campaign has tried to block postal voting, has requested a ballot in absentia that would allow him to cast a primary ballot in Florida through the U.S. Postal Service.
The request to vote remotely as a Palm Beach County, Florida, resident was confirmed Thursday night by White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere.
“The president supports absentee voting, not universal postal voting, which contains some safeguards to prevent fraud and abuse,” Deere said in an email.
The story of Trump̵7;s absence request, as well as that of First Lady Melania Trump, was first reported by the Palm Beach Post on Thursday.
It would be the second time Trump and the first lady have sought to vote by mail as Florida residents, where they call the Palm Beach resort house, Mar-a-Lago.
Trump’s request would allow them to vote in the August 18 primary. The deadline to request absentee ballots was Saturday. Ballots must be returned by 7pm on election day.
Palm Beach County launched an early voting program on Aug. 3 that allows voters to also use “safe” ballot boxes.
The president has claimed that postal voting, used in the United States since the Civil War, invites fraud. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States, according to numerous investigations and studies.
Trump has so far resisted congressional Democrats’ efforts to add billions of dollars to the U.S. Postal Service budget to help fund the extra work needed to process more postal ballots as a result of pandemic.
But on Thursday, the president suggested he would not veto the fund if it were part of a future coronavirus aid package, telling Democrats, “All they have to do is make a deal.”
He also said about voting by mail, “Missing good email, very bad.”
Some states, such as California, Pennsylvania, and Nevada, do not distinguish between being an absentee voter who is away from home and a voter who simply prefers mail; anyone can request a ballot in the mail.
Dennis Romero contributed.