By BEN GITTLESON, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump, who almost daily criticizes voting by mail with false claims about fraud, on Wednesday requested a mail-in ballot for himself, as did first lady Melania Trump, according to county election officials in Florida.
The president and his wife were sent ballots for next Tuesday’s statewide primary election in Florida less than a week before the vote, according to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.
The office mailed the ballots to the Trumps, at their registered address at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, according to entries on its website. The couple also voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary in March, according to election records.
Trump has for months railed against voting by mail, claiming without evidence that it will lead to widespread fraud.
States across the country have been expanding mail-voting options as Americans fear going to the polls during the coronavirus pandemic.
Facing high disapproval ratings, the president has invoked his baseless concerns to sow doubt in the results of this November’s general election, in which he is running for a second term.
Earlier this month, though, facing worrying electoral prospects in his home state of Florida — where Trump registered to vote last year after a lifetime in New York — the president reversed his position on voting by mail there.
“They’ve been doing this over many years, and they’ve made it really terrific,” Trump said.
The White House has drawn a distinction between states that intend to mail ballots to all registered voters, which Trump opposes, and voting absentee if one is unable to do so in person.
Trump and other senior administration officials, who have also made a practice of mailing in their ballots, have legitimate reasons they cannot be there, the White House has argued.
Officials across the country — Democrats and Republicans — have said the coronavirus pandemic will make voting in person difficult and potentially unsafe.
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