SSome GOP members in Pennsylvania are beginning to reconsider their party’s stance on absentee ballots, as the party expects large losses in the midterm elections that could be attributed in part to their dislike of the practice.
For the past two years, Republican lawmakers and candidates in Keystone state have openly opposed voting by mail, claiming the practice has left elections vulnerable to voter fraud. After record turnout and gains for Democrats in the 2020 election, in part due to voting by mail without an apology, many Republicans in the state responded by filing lawsuits and introducing legislation aimed at ending the practice altogether.
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Now, after a stronger-than-expected performance by Democrats in the midterm elections, particularly in Pennsylvania, some Republicans are beginning to consider adopting the 2024 ballot-by-mail.
“There is no question in my mind that Republicans need to have a different mail-in strategy,” said Andy Reilly, a member of the Republican National Committee in Pennsylvania Politically. “If one party votes for 30 days and one party votes for you, you definitely lose.”
Democrats are more likely to submit mail-in ballots than their Republican counterparts, especially over the past two years as former President Donald Trump and other party leaders claim the practice caused widespread voter fraud and cost the party the 2020 presidential election. Those claims were a reversal from 2019, when Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania helped pass legislation legalizing no-parole voting statewide.
Allegations of voter fraud continued into 2022, with Republican candidates like Doug Mastriano pledging to abolish mail-in voting if elected. Mastriano lost the governor’s race to Democrat Josh Shapiro.
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Republicans lost a number of other key midterm races in Pennsylvania, including for the Senate, House of Representatives and the state legislature.
“Republican and Conservative activists must embrace mail-in voting as it is not going away any time soon,” wrote GOP State Rep. Russ Diamond. “Our goal is not to convince ordinary voters to vote by mail, but to figure out how to cultivate mail-in votes from registered Republicans who rarely or never vote.”