In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has claimed the increased mail-in voting could endanger the integrity of the 2020 election, despite ample evidence to the contrary. He's even threatened to delay the election over the issue — something he does not have the power to do under the Constitution.
However, in a Tuesday afternoon tweet, Trump backtracked his stance on mail-in voting in at least one state: Florida.
"Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True," Trump tweeted. "Florida's Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail."
Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True. Florida’s Voting system has been cleaned up (we defeated Democrats attempts at change), so in Florida I encourage all to request a Ballot & Vote by Mail! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
At a briefing on Tuesday, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany drew a distinction between Florida's system — which requires voters to mail in a request for a ballot — and a system like which was recently approved in Nevada, who will mail a ballot to every registered voter automatically ahead of November's election.
In all vote by mail systems, the risk of voter fraud remains low.
Many Republican lawmakers have broken with Trump in his stance on mail-in voting in recent weeks, and studies have shown that mail-in voting does not provide an advantage to either party. McEnany declined to answer if Trump had been pressured by Republican lawmakers to change his stance.
According to The Washington Post, more than half of the states in the U.S. have a system in place similar to Florida's (though some states require voters to provide an excuse for voting by mail). Eight states will employ widespread vote-by-mail methods — similar to Nevada's new system — in the 2020 election. States like Oregon and Washington have been using such a system for years without widespread issues.
Trump himself voted by mail in Florida earlier this year during the primary election.