Donald Trump Jr. is urging voters to cast absentee ballots in robocalls detected across the nation Wednesday — even as his father continues to rail against widespread mail-in voting.
The robocalls, which reference this week’s Republican National Convention have been deployed in 13 states — Arizona, Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Texas and Maine — all states the Trump campaign is targeting. They indicate that either the Trump campaign or Republican National Committee has already mailed absentee-ballot requests to those being called.
“President Trump is counting on you to make a plan to return your absentee ballot request. Voting absentee is a safe and secure way to guarantee your voice is heard,” Trump Jr. says in the calls. “Help President Trump make America great again by joining him in being an absentee voter this year.”
It’s just one of the ways the Trump campaign is pushing voters to cast mail-in ballots. It has been targeting counties in battleground states where absentee ballots made a difference in 2016, urging supporters through a website to request ballots and running Facebook ads that state “Absentee ballots are GOOD. I need you to get your application and send in your absentee ballot IMMEDIATELY.” President Donald Trump even requested an absentee ballot himself to vote in Florida’s recent primary.
Trump’s assault on mail-in voting began in the spring, when he started warning there would be massive voter fraud if much of the country voted remotely, despite no evidence to back up the claims. The Republican Party and the Trump campaign have since filed lawsuits to restrict mail-in-voting measures in numerous states. Trump occasionally tries to distinguish between mail-in ballots and absentee ballots, saying the latter have additional safeguards and go only to those who request them. But election officials say the ballots look identical. Some states even use the names interchangeably or use a single term for all mail-in ballots.
Particularly interesting to encourage vote by mail in a state like Texas, which requires an excuse (or a voter be 65 or older).