For most of the summer, President Donald Trump has been whining and fantasizing about the presidential election being stolen from him in November. Most of his tweets and rants have been aimed at mail-in ballots which, he alleges with zero evidence, could produce millions of fraudulent votes.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday, while campaigning in North Carolina, the president twice urged his supporters to vote by mail and then vote in person, something that actually would corrupt the election. If any voters were to follow this suggestion, they would be committing a felony and could go to prison, but Trump seemed unaware of that, just as he is apparently unaware of the actual mechanics of how votes get tabulated.

Voting by mail, as everyone does in Washington and several other states, has numerous built-in safeguards that make it at least as secure as voting at a physical polling place. The true threat to a fair election are efforts by Republicans in many states to suppress the votes of Black Americans and students, voting blocs that lean toward Democrats. There is also the renewed interference in the campaign from Russian trolls and hackers who want to aid Trump’s re-election.

Trump is not complaining about any of that. He was happy to welcome Russian help in 2016 and is uninclined to tell them to stop this time around. And, if he could really get his fans to vote twice, you can bet he would do it.

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