The social media platform put a warning label on Trump’s Saturday tweet and limited its circulation for violating rules on election integrity by “encouraging people to potentially vote twice.”
“Voting twice in North Carolina is illegal,” Twitter wrote on thread accompanying Trump’s tweet.
Twitter didn’t remove the tweet, but added the warning and said it would ban users from retweeting, liking or replying to the Trump post. Only retweets with comments would be permitted.
“To protect people on Twitter, we err on the side of limiting the circulation of Tweets which advise people to take actions which could be illegal in the context of voting or result in the invalidation of their votes,” Twitter explained.
Twitter had taken a harsher stance on Trump and his ongoing contention that mail-in voting is rife with fraud. “These claims are unsubstantiated,” Twitter wrote in accompanying earlier Trump tweets, citing news sources. “Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.”
Trump has been laying the groundwork to cast doubt on the validity of the presidential election that will rely increasingly on the U.S. Postal Service during the coronavirus pandemic. Twitter earlier this month flagged Trump’s tweets on North Carolina that urged voters to test the accuracy of the mail-in voting process by heading to the polls to potentially vote again.
During the latest attempt Saturday, Trump tweeted: “NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY. When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!”
North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein urged residents to ignore Trump.
“NORTH CAROLINA: Do NOT do what the President directs,” he tweeted. “To make sure your ballot COUNTS, sign and send it in EARLY. Then track it ONLINE with BALLOTTRAX. Do NOT vote twice (it’s a felony), or waste your time, or unnecessarily risk exposure to more people.”
Trump has sought to make the distinction between unsolicited ballots that come to voters’ homes and absentee ballots that voters, including Trump, routinely request when they are unable to physically show up at the polls on Election Day.
This year’s election during the coronavirus will be unlike any before as states and local officials are, for the first time in some cases, preparing simultaneously for three different types of voting scenarios: expanded voting by mail, early in-person voting and Election Day voting.
With states having various rules on when mail votes can be counted, officials have warned the results of the presidential election may not be known on Nov. 3 as many mail-in ballots will still have to be tallied after the in-person votes are counted.