Fact-check: Did Trump vote by mail for the 2020 election?

Joe Biden

Joe Biden: “In the 2020 election, President Trump voted from behind the desk in the White House in Florida.”

failure of the politifact: half true

Here’s why: While Republican state lawmakers have approved and proposed numerous restrictions on voting by mail since the 2020 election, there’s one curious fact: Your party’s leader, former President Donald trump, chose to vote by mail several times in recent years.

President Joe Biden pointed out the philosophy of doing what I say, not what I do, during a speech in Georgia in which he called on Congress to pass voting rights legislation.

Biden said Georgia Republicans have put up roadblocks such as “making it more difficult to vote by mail,” a reference to the state law passed in 2021 that adds some restrictions to voting by mail, including the availability of drop boxes. But in the presidential election, Trump himself voted by mail, Biden said.

“Likewise, I might add, in the 2020 election, President Trump voted from behind his desk at the White House in Florida,” Biden said.

biden is partially right about trump’s 2020 voting habits: trump cast a mail-in ballot twice in the 2020 primary election. (we don’t know where trump physically sat to fill out his mail-in ballot). But in October 2020, after being repeatedly asked why he criticized voting by mail while using it himself, Trump voted early in person for the general election.

Before and after the 2020 general election, trump spread many falsehoods about voting by mail. These falsehoods have helped fuel the push by many Republican state legislators to craft bills that add restrictions on voting by mail in several states, including Georgia and Florida. Biden has called on Congress to pass two key pieces of voting rights legislation: the Freedom to Vote Act, which would create uniform standards for voting, including voting by mail, and a bill named after u.s. rep. john lewis that aims to block discriminatory election laws.

how did trump vote in 2020 in florida

trump became a registered florida voter in 2019 using his mar-a-lago address. In 2020, we interviewed Wendy Sartory Link, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, about Trump’s voting record.

a representative picked up ballots for trump from the elections office, which is allowed by florida law. link confirmed that trump voted using that method for the presidential preference primary in March and the state primary in August. The election office does not record for each individual whether his ballot is physically delivered, mailed, or placed in a drop box.

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Trump chose to vote by mail rather than in person, even though his motorcade repeatedly passed an early voting site at a Palm Beach County library around the time of the March 2020 election, CNN reported. .

In 2020, trump and his allies encouraged supporters to vote by mail, while attacking the option in court and in public.

​​For the general presidential election, Trump voted early in person at the Palm Beach County Main Library, on Saturday, October 1, 2019. 24, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“I voted for a guy named trump,” the president said, according to a joint report, the new york times wrote. Trump said his experience had been “perfect” and that “it was a very safe vote.”

in the summer of 2020, trump defended his mail-in voting record.

“I’m an absentee voter because I can’t be in Florida, because I’m in Washington,” Trump said in July 2020 before repeating unsubstantiated claims of fraud. “I’m in the white house, so I’m going to be an absentee voter. We have a lot of absentee voters, and it works. We’re all for absentee voting, but it’s very different than millions of people in California. They’re going to send dozens of millions of voting forms. well, where are they going to go? you read where mail carriers are in big trouble now. read where city councils are in big trouble right now. voter fraud on the entire ballot. “

The Florida Legislature voted unanimously in 2016 to change the phrase “absentee” to “vote by mail,” to alleviate confusion among voters who mistakenly believed they had to be away from home to request a mail-in ballot. That meant that under Florida law, it didn’t matter whether Trump was in the White House, Florida, or anywhere else in the world when it was voting season: he was legally entitled to a mail-in ballot.

how trump voted 2016-18 as a new yorker

biden highlighted trump’s voting record in 2020, but we decided to look back at his voting habits until the 2016 general election. we reached out to a spokesperson for the new york city board of elections to ask questions about trump’s voting history, but we didn’t get a response by the deadline. however, we found news that sometimes, as a new york voter, trump cast an absentee ballot.

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2018: In the midterms, Trump voted absentee, a White House spokesman told reporters.

Many high-ranking officials in the trump administration or campaign voted by mail in 2018 or earlier, including Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Bill Barr, Press Secretary Kayleigh Mcenany, and Campaign Manager brad parscale, according to the washington publication.

2017: The New York Daily News reported that Trump filled out an absentee ballot for the mayoral election and checked a box on an application indicating that he would be absent from the city on Election Day. The newspaper discovered that Trump’s ballot application listed his birthday as July, but it is actually June 14, 1946. NY1 reported that Trump and his wife Melania authorized a campaign staffer to pick up the ballots for them.

2016: Trump voted in person in the November election at Manhattan Public School 59, a few blocks from Trump Tower, where he lived.

We didn’t look further back for news reports on whether Trump voted absentee or in person before November 2016. However, his efforts to cast his ballot in 2004 drew attention in 2020 when an “Access Hollywood” video resurfaced 2004. “Access Hollywood” filmed Trump as he attempted to vote in person in New York City, where he was turned away at various sites because poll workers said he was not registered to vote at those locations. In the video, Trump got frustrated and said, “I’m going to fill out the absentee ballot.” Finally, Trump was seen filling out a ballot in the back seat of a car.

“at least you can say that trump is not giving up,” says trump. “you have to vote”. “access hollywood” reported that trump cast a provisional vote.

our failure

biden said: “in the 2020 election, president trump voted from behind his desk at the white house in florida.”

We don’t know where Trump sat when he voted in 2020, but we do know from Palm Beach County election officials that he voted by mail in the March and August presidential preference primaries. a representative picked up the ballot for him, which is rare but allowed. That said, when people hear “the 2020 election,” they usually think of the general election. And for that, Trump cast his vote in person at an early voting site in a library.

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We rate this statement as half true.

sources

  • white house briefing, president biden’s remarks on protecting voting rights, Jan. Jan 11, 2022
  • washington post, 16 trump officials who recently voted by mail, despite trump’s warnings about it, june 23, 2020
  • access hollywood , classic access: donald trump’s election day disaster: a look back (2004)
  • ap, trump casts doubt on voting by mail. his campaign promotes it. May 12, 2020
  • cnn, trump could have voted in person in florida this year, but chose not to, may 27, 2020
  • wral, gop mailer launches vote for mail despite the fact that the president ‘rigged elections!!!’ rhetoric, july 24, 2020
  • palm beach post, photos: trump votes in west palm beach, oct. 24, 2020
  • ny1, is trump casting his ballot for election day in new york? 2017
  • new york daily news, why melania, ivanka, and jared’s mayoral votes didn’t count, dec. 11, 2017
  • washington post, video: donald trump, billy bush and their ‘election day disaster’nov. 8, 2016
  • new york times, donald trump, amid cheers and jeers, casts his vote, nov. 9, 2016
  • the hill, trump, first lady cast absentee ballots for midterms, nov. 2, 2018
  • quartz, donald trump was one of 40 million early voters in the us midterm elections, nov. 6, 2018
  • politifact, donald trump’s dubious claim that ‘thousands’ are colluding in mail-in ballot fraud, April 9, 2020
  • politifact, no, california is not mailing ballots ‘to anyone in the state’ as trump falsely claimed, May 26, 2020
  • politifact, trump’s misleading claim about ‘unsolicited’ mail-in ballots, Sept. September 10, 2020
  • politician, trump exaggerates north carolina’s election mishap, sept. 22, 2020
  • political, no, trump didn’t vote twice on nov. 3 election, Oct. 25, 2020
  • politifact, trump’s cascade of falsehoods about voting by mail, nov. November 1, 2020
  • Polyfacted, President Trump Shares Misleading Video and Falsely Questions California Ballot Collection, November 1, 2020. November 11, 2020
  • Polyfacted , donald trump’s coup in georgia recount ignores key voting principles, nov. 18, 2020
  • politifact, what’s in georgia’s new voting law that lost the all star game, april 7, 2021
  • politifact, there are 28 new voting laws restrictive voting? not exactly, July 21, 2021
  • telephone interview, liaison with wendy sartory, palm beach county supervisor of elections, jan. 12, 2022

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