Trump Attacks Absentee Ballots Cast by Military as Count Continues
President Donald Trump has attacked the absentee ballots cast by military members and their spouses, which must be counted under the law.
Trump has introduced a scenario wherein thousands of military members would be excluded by having their legal votes thrown out.
Election officers in four of the states that are still in play for the presidential race have allowed absentee ballots from military and overseas voters to arrive after Election Day.
But the president claimed Thursday that all votes received after Election Day are illegal.
"If you count the votes that came in late -- we're looking at them very strongly. But a lot of votes came in late," Trump said in a CNN report.
He noted that if the illegal votes are counted, it will help his rival "steal" the election.
The military has been voting absentee since the War of 1812, and the practice was broadened during the Civil War. Military votes have always been included in official tallies, whether in local, state, or presidential elections.
For his part, retired Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said they are not asking for any special privileges.
Casey noted that the military is just saying that they think it is vital for every ballot to be counted, especially those of the service men and women who serve the country.
"They do so much for us, and they deserve to know their voices are heard," Casey said in the report.
In the 2004 presidential election, Casey voted by absentee ballot. He remembered voting while stationed away from Virginia, which is his home state of record.
Casey is now one of the many retired military leaders supporting Count Every Hero, a bipartisan effort to ensure that military votes are counted.
Trump has repeatedly alleged that the election is being stolen from him without any basis.
According to a CNN report, Trump also suggested that military ballots are "missing" in Georgia, implying that votes would tip in his favor.
"Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia? What happened to them?" the President tweeted Friday. However, there is no indication that those votes are missing.
Georgia's state will tally military and overseas votes as long as they arrive by close of business Friday.
As of Friday afternoon, Gabriel Sterling, the state's voting system implementation manager, said about 18,000 military ballots had been sent in and counted.
Under the state's law, the remaining 8,410 issued military and overseas ballots can still be counted if they were postmarked by Election Day and arrive before business close Friday. Thus, Sterling said it would be more than 0 and less than 8,410 votes to be counted.
Some of the ballots are still likely to be in transit. Many of those were requested but never cast, which is not uncommon.
Over 950,836 absentee ballots were sent to military and overseas voters for the 2016 election. However, only 623,577 were received back from those votes, according to the Federal Voting Assistance Program.
A Military Times poll done in August found that the military's support for Trump had plummeted massively. That is from 46 percent in 2016 to just under 38 percent this year.
Related story: Trump Continues to Garner Latino Support
A lot of service members said they would vote for Democratic bet Joe Biden than Trump.
Biden is slowly closing in to the targeted 270 electoral votes, with 253 votes. Trump, on the other hand, has a total of 214 electoral votes.
Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina have yet to call their respective state winners.
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