Trump Says He’s Changing His Tune on Mail-in Balloting
On Monday, former President Donald Trump discussed his new push for mail-in balloting and early voting, saying he believes Republicans “have to play the game.”
During an interview with Just the News’ John Solomon, published this week, Trump said that he is now embracing vote-by-mail and more early voting campaigns, prior to the 2024 contest. He says that the reason his position has shifted is “because it’s so unfair, the whole process is,” in reference to his previous claims that vote-by-mail laws in some states have been exploited, primarily during the 2020 contest.
“It’s a disgusting process. And what was happening is they’d go in there with an accumulation of votes, which in many places isn’t even legal, and they would accumulate votes at a level like nobody’s ever seen before,” Trump remarked.
Trump says his campaign, and other Republicans “[are] going to have to play the game a little bit differently, because we’re starting off with a deficit, and tremendous bad things are happening.” Trump argued that if Republicans can nab victories in some battleground states by using early voting and vote-by-mail, they can change those laws.
“I know that your next question will probably be like, ‘What do you recommend?’” Trump stated. “And what I recommend is all paper ballots, one-day voting, voter ID, and no mail-in except for far away military and people that are really seriously ill. And we’ll have an honest system again.”
Earlier this month, screenshots of emails sent out by Trump’s campaign appeared to confirm the belief that he is embracing using vote-by-mail.
“The radical Democrats have used ballot harvesting to cancel out YOUR vote and walk away with elections that they NEVER should have won. But I’m doing something HUGE to fight back,” one of the emails read, according to a screenshot. It added that their “path forward” will be to “MASTER the Democrats’ own game of harvesting ballots in every state we can. But that also means we need to start laying the foundation for victory RIGHT NOW.”
In December, Trump also suggested to Breitbart that he and the GOP will likely have to embrace early voting.
“You’re right,” Trump said when asked about Republicans not changing laws if they aren’t in power. “But you can shame the hell out of people and you can shame the Democrats. The Democrats know it’s corrupt and the Democrats should want to fix it but they don’t because they do have an advantage under that system. For the time, though, we have to live with the system that stinks so we have to fight it like they do, which is your question.”
Prior to and following the 2020 election, the former president attacked mail-in voting and ballot-collection operations, saying they’re fraught with voter fraud.
Trump isn’t the only Republican who plans to pursue early voting and absentee balloting strategies. Republican voters often prefer casting ballots during election day, while Democrats favor early voting methods.
A survey released by Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll late last year showed that 52 percent of Democrat voters said they voted before Election Day. That’s compared with 45 percent of Republicans who did the same, according to The Hill.
“We have to reevaluate both the strategy and the tactics. We had so many close races, but we didn’t do a good job at early voting, we didn’t do a lot of mail-in voting,” Saul Anuzis, a Republican strategist, told The Hill last December. “We don’t like that stuff so we don’t really participate in it.”
Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist and former congressional candidate, noted that Republicans can complain “as much as you want, but you gotta find a way to play the game, because the game’s not going to change right now.”
Trump also said he would push for a federal law on voter identification. Democratic lawmakers have signaled opposition to such measures, claiming that such rules are attempts to suppress voter turnout.
“We would have voter ID. How about even 88 percent of Democrats favor voter ID, but Democrat leadership doesn’t want to do it. There’s only one reason they don’t want to do voter ID: because they cheat,” he said.