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2020-05-28 06:52:35

Washington — White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail a dozen times in the last 10 years, according to Florida voter records reviewed by CBS News, a revelation that comes amid her own criticisms of efforts to expand mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

A voting history report from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections shows that McEnany “voted absentee” in every election, both general and primary, since November 2008. At times during that span, McEnany, a Tampa native, attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Most recently, she voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary in March.

While the report shows that McEnany voted “absentee,” Hillsborough County election officials said that its system uses the phrase “voted absentee” for any voter who votes by mail, whether they are in the county when they receive a ballot or not. Florida voters can opt to submit ballots by mail for any reason, according to the state Division of Elections.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported McEnany’s voting history.

McEnany defended her record of voting by mail, saying in a statement, “Absentee voting has the word absent in it for a reason. It means you’re absent from the jurisdiction or unable to vote in person. President Trump is against the Democrat plan to politicize the coronavirus and expand mass mail-in voting without a reason, which has a high propensity for voter fraud. This is a simple distinction that the media fails to grasp.”

Mr. Trump has mounted attacks on mail-in voting, claiming it invites voter fraud, as state election officials have grappled with how best to protect voters from exposure to the coronavirus when they head to the polls for primaries and the November general elections. However, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the U.S.

Seventeen states opted to postpone their presidential primaries and expand mail ballot access because of the coronavirus pandemic. Several, including Rhode Island, Georgia and Maryland, sent registered voters ballot application forms.

But the president claimed Tuesday vote-by-mail is “substantially fraudulent” and said without evidence that “mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.” He threatened last week to withhold federal funds from Michigan and Nevada if they moved forward with expanding vote-by-mail, claiming state officials were breaking the law. 

McEnany has defended Mr. Trump’s claims about mail-in voting and said Tuesday there are “real concerns with mass mail-in voting.”

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