Glenn Youngkin Is Right: It’s Time for Republicans to Utilize Early and Absentee Voting

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AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is launching a new effort to boost GOP turnout in early and absentee voting in an attempt to overcome the party base’s hesitation to adopt voting practices that are rife for exploitation.

Youngkin’s message comes in the form of an ad paid for by the Republican Party of Virginia, which proved in 2021 to be one of the most successful state-level party machines after the 2020 presidential election.

“We can’t go into our elections down thousands of votes,” Youngkin says in the ad. “And you can secure your vote before Election Day.”

The new party initiative, called “Secure Your Vote Virginia,” is the latest in a growing trend of Republicans acknowledging that the party is hurting itself by not buying into the effort to use early and absentee voting to its fullest. Frequent questions and complaints about voting outside of Election Day ahead of the 2020 election appear to have played a role in the downfall of President Donald Trump, as well as Republicans like Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, as tens of thousands of registered voters did not show up to vote. Rural Republicans, in particular, simply did not vote in 2020.

But Youngkin is working with his political action committee and other groups to turn that mentality around.

Through his political action committee Spirit of Virginia, Youngkin is launching the program with several state GOP groups, including the Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican State Leadership Committee.

In a statement Tuesday, the groups said the data-driven effort would target Republican and swing voters and would actually urge them to cast their ballots via absentee mail or during early, in-person voting.

The groups said the effort was intended to boost turnout of those voters ahead of the November elections this year in the state — during which control of both chambers of the state Legislature will be at stake — and would help Republican candidates in future elections as well.

Republicans pushing for their voters to sign on to efforts to vote early either in-person or through absentee voting are making the correct assessment in the wake of 2020 and 2022. Democrats have been able to utilize those efforts to get an early start, while Republicans who rely on in-person voting on Election Day fall victim to voter procrastination or voter depression when they see the advantage in the voting numbers ahead of election day.

But consider states like Florida, where Republicans took part in early voting in higher than normal numbers, helping politicians like Gov. Ron DeSantis secure major wins.

The evidence seems pretty clear: Encourage early and absentee voting. Use the same tools and methods to win elections that Democrats do.

But you still have holdouts – chief among them former president Trump – railing against these voting methods and assuring Republican voters that Democrats will try to steal the election again. But, if that’s the case… why not use those same options to “steal” the election for yourself? It seems like enjoying more votes would make more sense rather than scaring voters away from more options to vote.

There are very fair complaints about early and absentee voting, and some of it has indeed gotten out of hand. But if these are the tools available to Republicans, why not use them now to take back power now and make changes later? Use the tools available to you to win elections instead of whining and crying about “stolen” elections that might not have been “stolen” if you’d used the same methods the other side did.

It’s about time Republicans started focusing on trying to win elections instead of screaming about losing them.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. We have to do what’s necessary to win elections. Our side has red blood qualified candidates that should be winning every election. Let’s change the strategy and save our great nation.
    Thank you, Governor Youngkin for your initiative.
    Thank you, President Trump.

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