President Trump and first lady Melania Trump requested mail-in ballots Wednesday for Florida's primary next Tuesday, according to the Palm Beach County elections website. This would be the second time Trump has voted by mail in Florida this year. On Thursday, Trump told Fox Business News he opposes new funding for the U.S. Postal Service because that would allow for the expected surge in mail-in voting, which he sometimes opposes.
The Trumps missed the deadline for their ballots to be mailed, so they will have been delivered to Trump's private club in Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, then delivered to the White House. To be counted, the ballots have to be returned to the Palm Beach County election office before 7 p.m. Tuesday. "There’s no word from the White House if they are entrusting the task to the recently maligned U.S. Postal Service," The Palm Beach Post notes wryly.
Trump has been railing against mail-in voting for months, claiming falsely that widespread vote-by-mail will be riddled with fraud. He did make an exception for Florida, though, tweeting last week that Floridians should request mail-in ballots. Florida's "state Republican Party happens to have a very robust and long-term vote by mail program — which, I'm sure, was in danger because Trump has now convinced a number of rank-and-file Republicans that voting by mail is bad," Politico politics editor Scott Bland said Thursday. In fact, "Trump doesn't seem to actually have anything against mail balloting, except that it seems in this election to be something that's important to Democrats."
"We’ve been talking for months about how big a role mail balloting was going to have to play in the 2020 general election," Bland noted. "The idea that the Postal Service potentially wouldn't be able to handle it is a fairly recent development — and that being a result of policy changes by Trump appointees and, as Trump said, a lack of new funding, is pretty remarkable."