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GOP Strategy For Encouraging Vote-By-Mail? Hoping Trump Doesn’t Talk About It (TPM)

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GOP Strategy For Encouraging Vote-By-Mail? Hoping Trump Doesn’t Talk About It – By Nicole Lafond (TPM) / March 28, 2024

Recognizing that the conspiracy theories Donald Trump pushed in 2020 to anticipate and then fight his election loss mostly suppressed Republican turnout at the polls, the Republican Party has been trying since the midterms to do some shameless about-facing and embrace early voting and vote-by-mail practices. The main thing standing in the way of their 180 has been Donald Trump.

After then-presidential candidates Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley began suggesting that Republicans should focus their energy beyond in-person Election Day turnout in late 2022 and early 2023, the Trump campaign’s official messaging platform quickly followed suite. In February 2023, the Trump campaign first signaled the Republican Party’s revised thinking on the issue of early voting with a fundraising email letting supporters know that Trump was going to start looking into “harvesting ballots in every state we can.”

Shortly after, the RNC launched a Bank Your Vote initiative, designed to encourage Republican voters to take advantage of early-voting opportunities in any state where such actions were legal. To give the new initiative some credibility, the RNC released a video in July of Trump announcing his support for such an endeavor. The hostage-style video featured a docile Trump who both demonized early voting practices as some sort of menacing threat to elections, while also encouraging Republicans to use them.

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