OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republicans are planning to adopt a strategy that could help them win in the future if former President Donald Trump does not stand in the way. Many of the leaders in the Republican Party believe that its aversion to mail-in voting has damaged their ability to win elections and now they are prepared to embrace it, Time Magazine reported.
“One of the first lessons we have to take from the midterms is the power of early voting. Florida is able to do it efficiently and securely. DeSantis barely lost ‘Early by Mail’ and mopped the floor with ‘Early in Person’ drop-offs 61% to 38%,” Charlie Kirk said on Twitter.
“Telling everyone to vote in-person on ED opens you to traffic jams and machine malfunctions like what happened in Maricopa County. If and when that happens, there’s no rewinding time to change your strategy. You’re at the mercy of the courts and voters’ own schedules,” he said.
Telling everyone to vote in-person on ED opens you to traffic jams and machine malfunctions like what happened in Maricopa County. If and when that happens, there’s no rewinding time to change your strategy. You’re at the mercy of the courts and voters’ own schedules. (2/2)
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 15, 2022
Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters, who was defeated by Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly, had similar comments.
“We simply have to beat them at this VBM game, and rely less on ED voting as a party. Not a new thought — this is obvious to everyone now. I intend to spend a substantial part of my time and energy these next few years helping make that happen,” he said.
We simply have to beat them at this VBM game, and rely less on ED voting as a party. Not a new thought — this is obvious to everyone now. I intend to spend a substantial part of my time and energy these next few years helping make that happen.
— Blake Masters (@bgmasters) November 18, 2022
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared on Fox News and spoke to host Sean Hannity after Herschel Walker was defeated in Georgia by Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and said, “You have to play the game by the rules that are existing.”
“That means, for example, if you want Generation Z voters you’ve got to be on TikTok, even if in fact in the long run we may abolish TikTok as a Chinese communist device,” the former Speaker said.
“It means that you have to recognize early voting. It doesn’t do Republicans any good to save their TV money until October if they’ve had a third of the vote come in in September,” he said.
But former President Donald Trump still does not believe in mail-in voting and has continued to share that message.
“REMEMBER, YOU CAN NEVER HAVE FAIR & FREE ELECTIONS WITH MAIL-IN BALLOTS,” he said on Truth Social. “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. WON’T AND CAN’T HAPPEN!!!”
“When you have intra-party division and messaging, it just divides the party itself.” University of Texas at Austin professor Natalie Stroud said. “So that’s a very tricky one, if he sticks to the same narrative.”
And on Tuesday, when Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel appeared on Fox News she said that Republican voters need to embrace the new way of voting.
“Our voters need to vote early,” she said. “There were many in 2020 saying, ‘Don’t vote by mail, don’t vote early,’ and we have to stop that and understand that if Democrats are getting ballots in for a month, we can’t expect to get it all done in one day.”
Harmeet Dhillon, a former Trump attorney and former skeptic of voting by mail, has changed her mind.
“I’ve come around to the view that, where it is legal, Republicans need to be voting as early as possible, and getting their votes and banking their votes, just like the Democrats do,” she said to Time Magazine. “It actually helps predict where you need to go to chase the ballots better. It lessens the anxiety around Election Day, it decreases the risk that things like snow, rain, inclement weather will suppress the vote. It decreases the chances of things like long lines in voting that affected a lot of Republicans in Arizona on Election Day, which I saw with my own two eyes. And, you know, it’s convenient.”
Republican Lee Zeldin, who was narrowly defeated for governor of New York by Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, does not want to expand mail-in voting but does want to use it where it is legal to.
“States shouldn’t be passing laws to allow ballot harvesting or no-excuse absentee balloting,” he said to Tim Magazine. “But wherever states decide to do it anyways, Republicans need to do it better than Democrats and make those Democrats deeply regret legalizing those methods in the first place.”