Republican Party Fighting Distrust Of Mail-In Voting

Turning Point Action and the RNC are fighting to change voter’s perceptions of early and mail-in voting to help secure the 2024 election.

Mail-in voting peaked in the 2020 election, during the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 is the only year on record where mail-in votes surpassed election day votes in number. Early voting, however, where voters go to polling places in advance of election day to avoid lines and unforeseen circumstances, has consistently seen less votes than either of the other methods.

While mail-in voting statistics used to be pretty consistent between both parties, former President and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has consistently voiced his distrust of mail-in voting, suggesting that such ballots are a major source of voter fraud.

On April 7, 2020, Trump said in a press briefing: “Now, mail ballots — they cheat. Okay? People cheat. Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country, because they’re cheaters. They go and collect them. They’re fraudulent in many cases. You got to vote. And they should have voter ID, by the way. If you want to really do it right, you have voter ID. …”

“These mailed ballots come in. The mailed ballots are corrupt, in my opinion. And they collect them, and they get people to go in and sign them. And then they — they’re forgeries in many cases. It’s a horrible thing.”

He’s not entirely wrong — mail-in voting is the method that produces the most voter fraud. Such cases, though, are exceedingly rare, as far as we can tell. Mail-in voting is a relatively safe way to vote, and is especially useful for voters who have trouble getting around on election day.

Mail-in voting does require entrusting your ballot to someone else, in this case, a postal worker. There’s a level of risk in handing your ballot over, but at the end of the day, almost every voting method requires your ballot passing through another person’s hands.

Automated voting machines are one of the only ways to mitigate the risk of someone tampering with your vote, but the machines have proven to be even more prone to errors than human ballot counters. At the end of the day, democracy requires a degree of faith whatever system you use.

Since Trump’s explosion in popularity, Democrats have drastically led in early and mail-in voting. In several instances, storms and natural disasters have lost Republicans the election.

Now the GOP and Turning Point USA are trying to get Republicans back on board with early voting with the “Bank Your Vote” campaign. They’re currently focusing the campaign in vital states like Pennsylvania.

Voices across the GOP are pushing for voters to take advantage of the tools at their disposal.

“Trump … and all of our top-of-the-ticket leaders need to make it clear: If you’re an infrequent voter, use whatever means necessary,” said Brandon Maly, chair of the Dane County GOP in Wisconsin.

“I’d like to get back to Election Day, not election month, where we count the votes on Election Day, and we know the results at night. But we’re not in that world right now. So we got to vote the way we have it. And that is vote early,” Senate candidate Kari Lake (R-AZ) has stated.

RNC co-chair Lara Trump pushed for voters to embrace early voting as well in a recent speech.

Slowly, republicans are beginning to realize that they may come to need the competitive advantage that early and mail-in voting can give.

For those who still have reservations about mail-in voting, early voting can instill the same confidence as election-day voting, while safeguarding against emergencies.