President Donald Trump’s insistence that Florida elections officials abandon their vote counting efforts and declare the winners in two races based on the vote count from Election Day would exclude votes cast by active duty U.S. soldiers, New York Daily News reported Monday.
> “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged,” Trump tweeted shortly after dawn Monday, without providing any evidence. “An honest vote count is no longer possible — ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”
> The Sunshine State accepts ballots cast overseas through Nov. 16, provided that they were postmarked by Nov. 6. The exception is tailored to accommodate members of the U.S. armed forces who are stationed abroad.
> Trump’s indirect knock against American soldiers came one day after the nation celebrated Veterans Day. It also came less than 48 hours after Trump canceled a visit to a U.S. World War I cemetery in Paris because it was raining.
Iraq veteran and chairman of the VoteVets advocacy group Jon Stoltz told the Daily News he was outraged by the president’s words:
> “How many times does this guy have to show he doesn’t respect men and women who served?” Soltz told the Daily News. “From insulting POWs, to sending troops to the border for an election stunt, to dissing a Veteran’s Day ceremony because of rain, and now to saying military ballots shouldn’t be counted, Donald Trump continually shows he has no respect for service, or those who served.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.
Though Trump, Republican Senate candidate Rick Scott and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark DeSantis have all claimed voter fraud is at play in the elections, not one has offered evidence to support such a claim.