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The United States Postal Service is under attack by President Donald Trump right now, with mail-in voting the biggest target of his ire. Trump has continually expressed his belief that the influx of mail-in voting thanks to the coronavirus pandemic would lead to "fraudulent" ballots, but this hasn't stopped some voters in North Carolina from receiving absentee ballot request forms proudly featuring Trump's face on it.
While there is some differences between voting by mail and absentee voting, receiving the ballot with Trump on it still struck a lot of voters as ironic or bizarre. CNN reports that John Heter of Lincoln County initially thought it was a "joke," highlighting how the ballot reads, "Are you going to let the Democrats silence you? Act now to stand with President Trump."
Voter Chandler Carraanza of Gaston County told CNN that "the irony is very thick and definitely not lost on me." They added, "Trump has been saying mail-in ballots will bring fraud to the election but absentee ballots are legit. Which is it? It can't be both ways. I laughed because if the campaign actually took information from other times they have reached out to me, they'd know I won't vote for Trump despite being a registered Republican."
In a statement, deputy national press secretary Thea McDonald stressed that Trump has urged voters who cannot make it to the polls to request an absentee ballot, calling other options to vote by mail "chaos-ridden." The absentee ballots were sent out by the North Carolina Republican Party, and press secretary Tim Wigginton said it was to "make it easier for interested voters to participate."
Despite his constant attacks on mail-in ballots, Trump has expressed interest in encouraing North Carolina supporters to vote via absentee forms. "We're going on to win a tremendous election in November, to be exact Nov. 3 in North Carolina," Trump told reporters earlier this month, CNN reports. "You can request absentee ballots right now. Absentee ballots are great."
Trump's criticism against the USPS has been met with criticism itself, with many accusing him of voter suppression.