After RNC takeover, Trump team kills effort to encourage early voting that he once backed - TAI News
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The national Republican Party, newly under the control of former President Donald Trump, has reportedly abandoned a major nationwide push to get voters to cast their ballots early. That effort had been endorsed by Trump, though he had also spread baseless claims that early voting was unfair and dangerous.

On March 8, the Republican National Committee replaced Chair Ronna McDaniel with Trump’s handpicked choice, former North Carolina Republican Party Chair Michael Whatley. His team also placed Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump as the party’s co-chair and his senior campaign strategist Chris LaCivita as chief operating officer.

The Washington Post reported that in addition to laying off staff and eliminating an outreach program designed to win over minority voters, Trump’s team had come in and immediately canceled the RNC’s ongoing early voting efforts, instead opting for a new program to encourage unlikely Trump voters to back him.

In recent years, as Democrats encouraged voters to take advantage of vote-by-mail and in-person early-voting options, Trump attacked the practice and discouraged his supporters from participating. Though he has himself voted by mail repeatedly, Trump falsely claimed in 2020 that the elections were rigged against him because some states offered an automatic vote-by-mail option. “The ballots are going to be a disaster for our country,” he told reporters that September. “You’re going to have problems with the ballots like nobody has ever seen before.”

The proportion of Democratic voters participating in early voting has gone up significantly in recent years, which has proven to be an advantage in cases like the Feb. 13, 2024, special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, where an Election Day snowstorm affected in-person turnout. 

In June 2023, McDaniel launched a nationwide “Bank Your Vote” campaign to try to close the early-voting gap. “If we don’t vote early, we’re giving the Democrats a head start,” she said in a video announcement. “But when Republicans vote early, we win.”

The party posted a Wisconsin-focused webpage urging the state’s Republican voters to bank their votes before Election Day. “To beat Joe Biden and Wisconsin Democrats this year, we must ensure that Republicans bank as many pre-Election Day votes as possible,” the site says. “In Wisconsin, Republicans have been working hard to protect your vote. All Badger State voters are eligible to vote absentee by mail, or vote absentee in-person—starting 14 days before Election Day—at their local municipal clerk’s office before Election Day.”

According to a July 2023 RNC press release, the “Bank Your Vote” campaign was endorsed by Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair Brian Schimming, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, and Republican U.S. Reps. Scott Fitzgerald, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman, Bryan Steil, Tom Tiffany, and Derrick Van Orden.

Trump himself made a Bank Your Vote campaign video, posted online in June 2023. “Go to BankYourVote.com to sign up and commit to voting early,” he told viewers. “We must defeat the far left at their own game or our country will never recover from this disastrous, crooked Biden administration.” 

Trump contradicted that message two days later, telling right-wing radio host Jeff Fredericks: “We should have one-day voting, we should have paper ballots, and we should have voter ID, and you’d have honest elections. And that’s what we should have. When you see these votes where they take 42 days and they have ballots sitting all over the place, it’s a disgrace. We’re like a third-world nation.”

This February, Trump said on Fox News, “If you have mail-in voting, you automatically have fraud.”

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