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Despite Deadly Pandemic, Trump Says: "We Don't Want Anybody to Do Mail-in Ballots"

"Five states already have all-mail elections—Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington."

President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House on May 21, 2020.

President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House on May 21, 2020. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFPGetty Images)

President Donald Trump on Thursday declared—not for the first time—that he did not want to see U.S. voters use mail-in ballots in November's general election even as the nation faces a pandemic that has killed nearly 90,000 Americans so far.

"We don't want anyone to do mail-in ballots," Trump said, before listing a very narrow prerequisite for using absentee voting which would justify himself using vote by mail.

"Now if somebody has to mail it in because they're sick or, by the way, because they live in the White House and they have to vote in Florida and they won't be in Florida, if there's a reason for it, that's okay," said the president.

Journalist Touré sarcastically pointed out the implications of Trump's wording.

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"So basically his reason (I want to) is ok but yours (I don't want Coronavirus) is not," Touré tweeted.

Whether or not Trump wants people to use mail-in ballots is largely irrelevant. As journalist A.J. Bayatpour noted on Twitter, "five states already have all-mail elections—Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington."

But the president appears set on doing all he can to discourage the practice, lashing out Wednesday in a now-deleted tweet at Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and threatening withhold federal aid if her state proceeds with plans to send absentee ballot applications to all registered Michiganders.

On Thursday, Trump referred to voting as an "honor." Voting is a right.

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