Fact check: Can US voters really change their early ballots like Donald Trump suggested?
With less than a week to go before the U.S. presidential election, Republican candidate Donald Trump made an interesting “public service announcement” to Democrats who cast early ballots – change your vote.
In a rare move, Trump reached out to Democrat supporters during a campaign rally in Wisconsin Tuesday, hammering Hillary Clinton for the ongoing scandal surrounding her use of a private email server when she served as secretary of state.
“This is a good time to make an important public service announcement because a lot of things have happened over the last few days,” Trump said.
“This is a message for any Democratic voter who have already cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton and who are having a bad case of buyer’s remorse. In other words you want to change your vote.”
Trump then went on to encourage voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and nearby Minnesota who cast early ballots to switch their votes to support his bid for the oval office.
Can voters who cast early ballots change their vote?
Fact check: Yes, but only in certain states
Trump’s latest claim is in fact correct, especially in the state of Wisconsin, where he was speaking.
According to Wisconsin law, those who cast early ballots in the state can change their vote as many as three times before election day. A Wisconsin clerk told local news outlet WISN-TV that voters would have until Nov. 4 to cancel their ballot and vote again.
Michigan only allows absentee voting and there are strict rules regarding who qualifies as an absentee – you must be 60 years old, out of town, or in jail to qualify. However, House Elections Committee chairwoman Lisa Posthumus Lyons told Detroit News that absentee ballots are not actually tabulated until election day, which means voters “have the opportunity to change their vote if they change their mind in the days leading up to the election.”
According to CNN, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Mississippi also allow early voters to change their ballot after it’s been cast; however, as the article points out, many of the election websites run by the states do not make the rules for ballot changing clear, or easy to find.
The Associated Press reports more than 23 million ballots have been cast through early voting already.
On Tuesday, Trump edged ahead of Clinton by one point, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll. The Republican candidate leads with 46 per cent of likely voters, compared to Clinton’s 45 per cent.
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