President spreads unfounded rumors about voting by mail

Donald Trump claimed ballots “are being dumped in rivers” if they have his name on them, but the White House could not provide any evidence.
4:58 | 10/01/20

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Transcript for President spreads unfounded rumors about voting by mail
Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy Thursday night. 32 days until election day now, but tens of thousands of Americans are voting already. In fact, today, we witnessed the long lines of voters showing up for early in-person voting. All of this, as president trump casts doubt on mail-in voting. The white house facing tough questions today. In Fairfax, Virginia, todaying the long lines, waiting to vote in person. Many voters saying they are not taking any chances. They are showing up for early voting, eager to make sure that their vote is counted. President trump telling supporters that boll lots were found in a river, thrown out, he said, because they had his name on them. So, today, reporters at the white house grilling the white house press secretary, where is this supposed river? Tonight, governors in several states warning that much of what the president is doing amounts to voter intimidation and in Texas at this hour, the controversial move by the Republican governor there when it comes to turning in your mail-in votes. Here's our chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl leading us off. Reporter: Today in Fairfax, Virginia, lines of voters as far as the eye can see. Americans eager to vote and vote in person, as the president spreads unfounded rumors and outright disinformation about voting by mail. This is crazy what is going on. This is crazy. Reporter: Today, the white house was asked point-blank to provide evidence about this claim made repeatedly by the president. They found a lot of ballots in a river. They throw them out if they have the name trump on it, I guess. They are being dumped in rivers. This is a horrible thing for our country. Reporter: It was a reporter from Fox News today who asked specifically what the president was talking about. Who is "They" that found those ballots and where is this river anywhere in this country? The local authorities. It was a ditch in Wisconsin that they were found, and I can get the article to your inbox if you'd like. And beyond that -- If he misspoke, that's fine. No, that's -- that's -- I believe -- He meant a ditch, rather than a river. That's what the president was referring. You're missing the forest for the trees here. The point is -- I like -- I cover the news, and I like to report accurately in the news, and when the president says, "They found a lot of ballots in a river," I simply want to know where the river is. No, you simply want to ignore the fact of the matter. Reporter: The white house never provided any evidence of ballots thrown in a river. As for that ditch in Wisconsin, it turns out there was some mail found in a ditch, but state election officials said today there were no ballots from Wisconsin. No Wisconsin ballots were involved or impacted by the incident. Reporter: Around the country, state officials are increasingly speaking out, particularly upset over this call to action by the president. I'm urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully, because that's what has to happen. I am urging them to do it. Reporter: Democratic governors of 11 states issued a joint statement, saying, "There is absolutely no excuse for promoting the intimidation or harassment of voters." Well, voters have a right to be left alone. They have a right to be left in peace and not intimidated or interfered with. Reporter: President trump has also suggested that people who vote by mail should show up at the polls on election day to make sure their vote was counted. The top elections official Fairfax county, Virginia, today, told me that could cause real problems. So, what would happen if everybody that voted by mail did what the president said and came here in person? What would that do to you? It would bring things to a stop, some of these people would be here until midnight. Reporter: You don't want that to happen? We don't want that to happen. We want to get people through as quickly as we can. Reporter: The voters here in Fairfax county are happy to wait in line. Voting early and not taking any chances. It's worth the wait? No doubt. No doubt. Reporter: How confident are you that your vote is going to be counted? I feel way more confident than if I mailed it in. I just wanted to make sure my vote was counted. Let's get live to Jon. He's in Washington back there tonight. And Jon, there's news coming in out of Texas at this hour. The Republican governor there issuing a new order, cutting the number of locations where voters can drop off their mail-in ballots. Democrats are already saying this late move is voter Reporter: David, the governor's proclamation says there can only be one dropoff box per county for mail-in that means voters in a place like Harris county, where Houston is, has nearly 5 million people, stretching out over 1,700 miles, will only have one dropoff location to return their ballots. The governor says he issued the proclamation for security reasons. Some local officials say it is an effort to suppress the vote. Jon, thank you. We know this can be difficult to track at home, safe voting in this pandemic. So, our partners at fivethirtyeight have put together an easy to use state-by-state guide about voting in person and by mail. Can you go to abcnews.com/wntvote2020. Of course, the coronavirus will be a major issue driving

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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