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Trump says Florida can provide accurate vote-by-mail results because of its Republican governors

Trump continued to sow fear about mail-in voting, claiming that states with Democratic leadership were unprepared.
President Donald Trump answers questions from the media in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on Tuesday.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he had "total confidence" in Florida's ability to administer a vote-by-mail system in November, but he cast doubt on other states' ability to deliver reliable results.

"Florida has got a great Republican governor, and it had a great Republican governor," Trump said when asked by a reporter to explain why his comfort with mail-in voting did not appear to extend to other states.

Trump is registered to vote in Palm Beach County, and he voted absentee in Florida's presidential primary in March. The president has said he plans to vote absentee again in the general election.

"Over a long period of time, they've been able to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally. Florida is different from other states," Trump said Tuesday.

Trump focused on Nevada and New York — states with Democratic governors whose voters went for Hillary Clinton on 2016 — as examples of states unable to carry out voting by mail.

"I think they have to do the election in New York over," Trump said of a closely watched Democratic congressional primary that remains undecided six weeks after the election because of disputes over some absentee ballots.

"Nobody can know what the election result is," Trump claimed.

Trump also criticized Nevada for its plan to automatically send mail ballots to voters.

"In the case of Nevada, they're going to be voting in a matter of weeks. You can't do that. I can't imagine the Post Office could do it. All of a sudden they're supposed to be dealing in millions of ballots."

The Trump administration has been criticized for implementing cost cuts at the U.S. Postal Service that have led to a backlog of mail. Republicans have also resisted Democrats' calls to include more funding for the Postal Service in coronavirus legislation to better prepare for the November election and what is expected to be a record share of mail-in ballots.

Trump has vowed to sue to stop Nevada from mailing ballots to all active voters, although he has no legal authority to do so. Elections are administered by the states with oversight from Congress.

Although more voters are expected to cast ballots by mail this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, states have been using absentee systems for years, and millions of voters cast ballots in some way other than at in-person polling places every presidential election cycle.

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As Trump continues to trail Joe Biden in polls, he has made baseless claims about the security and legitimacy of voting by mail and stoked fear over whether Americans can be confident in the November election results.

Florida, one of the most delegate-rich battleground states that could decide the presidential race, is the exception.

"Florida has done a great job, and we have total confidence that if you mail in your ballot in Florida, it's going to matter," Trump said.