Donald Trump's last-ditch appeal to Hillary Clinton voters: "You can change your vote"

Because choosing the next leader of the free world should be like exchanging merchandise you're not a fan of

By Sophia Tesfaye
Published November 2, 2016 3:58PM (EDT)

With six days left before election day and a record 26 million votes already cast in 38 states, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is busy trying to convince supporters of his rival Hillary Clinton to reverse their early votes and instead cast their ballots in his favor.

The Trump campaign’s last-ditch change-your-vote effort seeks to take advantage of laws in four potential battleground states that allow early and absentee voters to rescind their ballots. Following two weeks of bad headlines for the Clinton campaign — Obamacare premiums are set to rise by more than 20 percent next year and FBI Director James Comey dropped an unprecedented bombshell related to Clinton's use of private email — a trailing Trump is attempting to build momentum in his favor with the help of his most unlikely supporters.

The GOP nominee made his unusual appeal in person Tuesday night in Wisconsin, a state where early or absentee voters can cast a ballot up to three times, canceling their previous ones.

Announcing "an important public service announcement," Trump noted that "there's a lot of things that have happened over the last few days" and said, "This is a message with any Democratic voter who have already casted their ballots for Hillary Clinton and who are having a bad case of buyer's remorse."

"In other words — you want to change your vote," Trump said.

Referencing Comey's announcement to Congressional leaders Friday that he had become aware of additional emails that might be related to the investigation into the private email server that Clinton used while secretary of state, Trump again repeated his misleading claim that she is under criminal investigation.

"She is likely to be under investigation for many years, probably concluding in a very large scale criminal trial," Trump said, offering no evidence to support his claim.

"Wisconsin is one of several states where you can change your early ballot if you think you've made a mistake. A lot of stuff has come out since you voted. So if you live here . . . you can change your vote for Donald Trump," Trump said, noting that the same can be done in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

Trump’s social media director, Dan Scavino, tweeted the phone numbers for elections officials in each state:

Other states, including New York, Connecticut and Mississippi, have similar laws.

While Michigan and Pennsylvania do not allow early voting, residents of those states who cast absentee ballots can change their votes if they vote in person on Election Day. In Minnesota the deadline to recall an early vote is Tuesday. In Michigan absentee voters can rescind their ballots until Saturday. In Wisconsin, the deadline varies by community.

Still, Trump's desperate play for Democrats makes little sense with less than week left in the election. A Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll released Sunday found that most voters did not think Comey's letter would make them less likely to vote for Clinton. A poll from Politico and Morning Consult showed similar results.

Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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