Republican Officials Fear Donald Trump’s Campaign Against Mailed Votes Will Harm Their Election Results

Donald Trump has railed against mail-in voting. He has asserted, without evidence, that Democrats will use mailed ballots to hide fraud and cheat to win the 2020 election. However, it turns out that his campaign against voting by mail actually has his own party worried. Election officials are expressing concern, and strategists are even editing his tweets to avoid discouraging Republicans from voting by mail.

Donald Trump's anti-mail rhetoric could hurt GOP ote
[Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images]

Last month, Trump tweeted that absentee ballots are fine, but mail-in voting is a invitation to fraud. In many states, there’s no differentiation between the two.

Republican strategists and officials seem to feel this is hurting their party. Mark Caputo, a reporter for Politico, tweeted to share an exchange with a Florida Republican who messaged him an image of a Trump-promoting political mailer. The flier invites the recipient to apply for an absentee ballot, and support a Trump victory. In the top corner of the flier, there’s an image of Trump’s tweet from above — but the part that says “Absentee Ballots are fine. A person has to go through a process to get and use them,” is highlighted, and the rest is actually blurred out.

In Wisconsin, a Republican Party chairman has tweeted that Trump “is just wrong on this one,” suggesting that by campaigning against mailed ballots, he’s only turning Republicans away from the option and “surrender[ing] this to Democrats.”

He even argued that when mailed ballot fraud has been attempted, the systems already in place caught it, as a demonstration of the security of mailed voting.

In fact, even as Trump was tweeting some of his rhetoric against mailed votes, his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, was part of a robocall campaign to get Californians to use their mail-in ballots to support a Republican candidate (who won, incidentally). In her recorded message, Lara assured voters that mailed ballots were secure and reliable.

Trump continues to insist that mailed ballots will be used for fraud, tweeting this as recently as last week. However, NPR spoke to elections officials last month who explained that it’s just not realistic for it to be pulled off to any substantial degree. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican, told NPR she extends an open invitation to Trump and Attorney General William Barr to visit the offices where ballots are inspected, and view the process.

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