Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Say, 'If You're Going To Vote, Vote Early And Vote Often'

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: Biden Did NOT Say, 'If You're Going To Vote, Vote Early And Vote Often' Old Quote

Did Joe Biden say, "if you're going to vote, vote early and vote often"? No, that's not true: During the first 2020 presidential debate, the Democratic nominee encouraged Americans to vote, but he did not use that phrase, which is a well-worn quote that's been around for decades, if not longer.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) published on Facebook on September 29, 2020. Alongside an image from the debate, a message read:

Biden, "if you're going to vote, vote early and vote often"

This is what the post looked like at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Sep 30 20:21:27 2020 UTC)

Biden did not say what the post alleges him to have said, according to a full transcript of the debate. He did, however, address voting. Biden said:

Show up and vote. You will determine the outcome of this election. Vote, vote, vote. If you're able to vote early in your state, vote early. If you're able to vote in person, vote in person. Vote whatever way is the best way for you."

The phrase "vote early and often" has been around for a long time, well before Biden was making headlines. There's a good bit of debate over who said it first. Possible contenders include gangster Al Capone, former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, former Boston Mayor James Michael Curley -- or it could have originated somewhere in Ireland.

One thing is for sure, though. Biden did not say it.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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