This is not an article to explain why Donald Trump dislikes voting by mail. It’s an article about how Trump’s constant assailing of voting by mail is causing huge headaches for the Republican party.
The Republicans have effectively used voting by mail to turn out the vote in key states like Arizona and Florida for years. The state GOP parties have sent ballot applications to their own registered voters and I’ve seen former GOP strategists say that it was one of the tools they used heavily with their elderly voters, with great success.
Yet now, they have a president who is painting any and all mailed ballots as fraudulent. (They’re not.) Here’s a quick recap of what Trump has been saying and why he might be saying it:
— CNN (@CNN) May 23, 2020
But here’s where things get really bad for the Republicans. Their voters, and hyper-partisan politicians, are vocally buying into the president’s theory and echoing him.
For example, here’s the governor of Missouri openly suppressing votes by saying you either vote in person or you don’t vote at all. (For the record, Missouri voters can vote by mail this year).
My Governor Mike Parson (R-Missouri) said that if you don’t feel safe, don’t go out and vote.
You know, instead of actually making it safe.
This is voter suppression. pic.twitter.com/5tv0RPfGaw
— Rachel R. Gonzalez (@RachelRGonzalez) May 29, 2020
Trump’s rhetoric is having an effect on Republican voters. Take what happened in Pennsylvania last month. A local Republican state party leader got onto Facebook to remind voters that they had the option of voting by mail for their recent primary. What he got in return was angry replies by Trump fans scolding him and reminding him that the president doesn’t like voting by mail.
The data showed that just a few weeks before the primary, 70% of the absentee ballot applications came from … you guessed it … Democrats.
Here’s another example, from this past weekend. Michigan’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, had sent out letters to all registered voters, informing them that they could vote by mail in the upcoming election. A group of Trump supporters in a town near Grand Rapids held a protest where they, BURNED the letters. I’m serious. You can read about it HERE.
Now what the final effect of Trump’s rhetoric will be is hard to say. But for a party that quietly used absentee ballots to get more Republican votes, this probably isn’t good news for them.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Right now, please request your absentee ballot application for the upcoming election. Don’t wait. You can find the rules for your state bookmarked HERE.
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