Today, on Veteran’s day, President Trump marked the occasion by calling for an end to vote counting in Florida, ignoring tens of thousands of ballots cast by members of the military serving overseas who cast absentee ballots. While the nation watched two tight races in Florida, a race for the Senate and for the Governorship, election officials continue to count votes, with tens of thousands remaining.
Many of the yet uncounted votes come from servicewomen and men who cast absentee ballots overseas. According to Florida law, those ballots are allowed a ten-day grace period provided they are postmarked by election day. That means that military ballots can be received and considered up to November 16th.
President Trump who has demonstrated his disdain for the Democratic process is now calling on the state of Florida to stop counting ballots. He is essentially telling military men and women worldwide, serving the United States, that their votes literally will not count.
On Monday, Veteran’s day, the day when the nation honors the sacrifices of military men and women, the president of the United States tweeted, telling those same military women and men that their votes should not be counted. The president does not believe the very people who fight to protect American democracy should have a voice in that democracy.
Trump tweeted writing, “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”
The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2018
Aaron Blake of The Washington Post explained, “Florida accepts overseas/military ballots through Nov. 16, (provided they were postmarked by Nov. 6).” Blake added, “The president is effectively calling for the disenfranchisement of military service-members … the day after Veteran’s Day.”
Two former Obama officials also spoke out:
The President is spreading conspiracies in order to delegitimize election results, and thinks that military ballots in Florida shouldn’t be counted. On Veterans’ Day. That story should lead the news everywhere.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) November 12, 2018
President of the United States says votes from members of the military serving overseas shouldn’t be counted https://t.co/SemRQQP9ER
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 12, 2018