Trump Endorses Absentee Voting as ‘Good’ Option as He Seeks to Mobilize GOP Voters

‘Absentee voting, early voting, and Election Day voting are all good options,’ President Trump said.

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed absentee and early ballots as “good options” alongside Election Day voting as he seeks to rally Republican voters in his efforts to clinch a victory over his Democrat rival in the November election.

President Trump has long expressed a strong preference for Election Day voting while being a sharp critic of no-excuse mail-in ballots, repeatedly railing against the practice as rife with the potential for fraud.

Polling shows that Republican voters overwhelmingly share his reservations about no-excuse mail-in voting and tend to be suspicious of anything but same-day voting.
While the former president has said in the past that he doesn’t object to absentee ballots—meaning mail-in ballots that require a process including justification for reasons like disability or illness—he’s now giving them, and early voting more generally, a more full-throated endorsement.
“Absentee voting, early voting, and Election Day voting are all good options,” President Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social. “Republicans must make a plan, register, and vote!”
His remarks dovetail with ongoing efforts by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to change GOP voters’ attitudes about early and absentee voting in a bid to make sure Republicans don’t fall behind Democrats in terms of allowable voting practices—and therefore votes in the upcoming presidential election.

‘All Existing Tools’

In a thrust that began under prior RNC leadership, Republican officials have been ramping up their calls for the party to embrace early voting and vote-by-mail options.

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Shortly after taking over from now-former RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel as the head of the organization, Michael Whatley said that the party will use all available tools to help President Trump win the race for the White House, including continuing to educate Republican voters on locking their votes in early through absentee ballots.

“We are aggressively pursuing programs to grow our base and maximize opportunities to engage with Americans, utilizing all existing tools for our voters to cast ballots,” Mr. Whatley said in a March memo to RNC staff.

Mr. Whatley elaborated on where the RNC is heading in its voter mobilization efforts in an interview with Fox News, in which he talked about the need to pair election integrity efforts with a range of methods to maximize GOP voter turnout and persuade undecided voters to back President Trump.

“When it comes to this presidential election, we are going to be fully focused on the nuts and bolts, the mechanics of making sure that we win this election. At the end of the day, we need to turn out voters and we need to protect the ballot,” he said in a March 15 appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” program.

President Trump’s daughter-in-law, who recently became the RNC co-chair, said that the golden standard is same-day voting, with paper ballots and voter ID. However, she acknowledged that getting there would be a process and, in the meantime, Republicans need to resort to whatever lawful tactics are available, including legal ballot harvesting, so as not to fall behind Democrats in voter turnout.

“We would love to have one day of voting. We would love to have voter ID and paper ballots. We can get back to that place … but we have to do it by electing Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, expanding our lead in the House and taking back the Senate and maybe we get back there one day,” she told Fox News in a March interview.

President Trump himself expressed much the same idea in an ad for the RNC’s “Bank Your Vote” drive in July 2023, in which he said that “we may not like the current system but we need to master the rules and beat the Democrats at their own game and then we can make our own rules.”

“Republicans must get tougher and fight harder to cast our votes and get our ballots turned in earlier so Democrats can’t rig the polls against us on Election Day. We cannot let that happen,” he added.

This parallel effort—getting Republican voters to warm up to absentee and early voting while preventing Democrats from abusing it—kicked into higher gear on Friday, with the RNC announcing the launch of a “historic” election integrity program.

‘Most Extensive and Monumental’

The RNC announced on April 19 that it plans to deploy over 100,000 volunteers and attorneys to monitor the fairness and transparency of the 2024 election.

The program will focus on five areas of observation where the RNC will seek to ensure adequate coverage by poll watchers and engagement by “aggressive” attorneys who will be laser-focused on working “to stop Democrat attempts to circumvent rules.”

The five areas are testing the logic and accuracy of voting machines, early voting, Election Day voting, adjudication and duplication of mail-in ballots, and post-election auditing, recounts, and canvassing.

“The Democrat tricks from 2020 won’t work this time,” RNC Chief Counsel Charlie Spies said in a release. “In 2024, we’re going to beat the Democrats at their own game, and the RNC legal team will be working tirelessly to ensure that elections officials follow the rules in administering elections.”

The RNC said it will train its volunteers to watch for potential problems in the electoral process with a focus on both polling sites and ballot tabulation centers, as part of what it says is “the most extensive and monumental election integrity program in the nation’s history.”

Already in this election cycle, the RNC has engaged in 82 election integrity lawsuits in 25 states.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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