Republicans plan efforts to tout early voting tactics they once vilified
Republicans are planning campaigns to increase early voting, an act they once condemned – among them, the Republican National Committee has announced a “10-million-voter goal”. The campaign comes as part of a nationwide effort to register and encourage more Republican voters to cast early ballots ahead of the November election.
The effort comes as polls show President Donald Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden among likely voters. Republicans, who have long touted in-person voting on election day in what’s seen as an electoral advantage, are now pushing to make sure registered Republicans get their ballots in early.
The RNC has said it wants to ensure that Republicans have an opportunity to participate in the election in any way they are comfortable with, and that could mean taking advantage of early voting, vote-by-mail, or in-person voting on election day, if the coronavirus health situation allows.
The committee has rolled out what it calls a “10-million-voter goal”—specifically, they plan to register at least 10 million voters this cycle. Doing so means encouraging registered Republicans to make use of early voting options and to make sure that their votes are counted.
The RNC has already set up offices in key states and plans to deploy hundreds of staffers and resources in the coming weeks to help with registration and encourage early voting. Such efforts in GOP-dominated states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona could prove critical, as those contests are likely to be close.
The Republican get-out-the-vote drive faces a hurdle in some swing states that have traditionally been GOP strongholds and whose governors have been slow to embrace expanded or alternative voting options; Ohio, for example, has among the least communications-forward voting plans in the country.
But Republicans have been working to turn such challenges into opportunities, and to turn out the vote with targeted, tailored efforts designed to engage Republican voters on the ground in states where they must.