With key swing states to cast their votes this week, Republicans fear that their standard-bearer, President Donald Trump’s attack towards mail-in voting, may cost him his second term plans at the White House.
Even as President Trump ramps up false claims, some in the GOP are encouraging voting by mail.— NPR (@NPR) August 31, 2020
"Because we are scaring our voters away from it, we are hurting ourselves," said a Wisconsin chairman.https://t.co/DmNbnAyhem
The Republican president has been vocal about his views regarding the mail-in voting in this whole stretch of the campaign period. Trump insinuated, over baseless claims, that this method of voting may effect an “inaccurate and fraudulent” election results, which may cause great embarrassment to the country. Trump's suspicious nature towards mail-in voting pushed him to suggest delaying November 2020 election that earned criticisms from Democrats and even some GOP officials.
With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2020
Trump, in his all-out war over mail balloting, even resorted to blocking budget proposals that include funding for the Postal Service office. Another criticism sparked when the Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, abruptly updated rules and regulations in the agency that affects its daily operations and workers. The public was quick to point out that both Trump and Leroy, who's a known Trump supporter, tried to undermine the election to aid Trump’s regain of power at the White House. Leroy reportedly withdraws the ruling after Democrats and some Republicans called out the move.
Republicans worry that these attacks coming from the President may backfire on his reelection, as some of the key swing states that gave him his 2016 victory resorts to mail-in voting, as cases of the coronavirus continue to surge in the country. These election fraud comments raised by Trump lead voters to question the integrity of the upcoming election, says GOP county chairman in Fond du Lac, north of Milwaukee, Rohn Bishop. "They don't trust it, and one of the reasons they don't trust it is the president's previous tweets and comments about it," mentioning about Republican voters skepticism.
Previously, Politico reported that a potentially decisive slice of Trump’s battleground-state base — 15 percent of Trump voters in Florida, 12 percent in Pennsylvania, and 10 percent in Michigan — said that getting a ballot in the mail would make them less likely to vote in November. Trump won each of those states by a thin margin in 2016, and less than 1 percent of Joe Biden voters said getting a ballot mailed to them would make them less likely to vote. Overall, 53 percent of voters in Florida and about half in Michigan and Pennsylvania expressed health concerns about casting their ballots in person and prefer voting by mail in November, according to the report.
On rumors about the mail-in voting, Bishop told NPR that “the system's pretty solid.” And he believes that whatever claims circulating regarding it over social media, and other platforms damaging its reputation, including accusations of postal workers stealing Republican ballots, are “conspiratorial hype.”
During this election campaign, Republicans said they convinced their supporters to consider casting their ballots via mail; but it was the Blue side of the race, which prompted the idea of making this voting by mail a priority due to the current situation in the country because of the pandemic. Bishop shared with NPR that if these attacks over mail-in ballots remain, they will be in a very tricky situation because, “we are scaring our voters away from it, we are hurting ourselves and putting ourselves at a disadvantage. Not a big disadvantage, but a disadvantage, and that's one of the reasons I push back against it because it is a legitimate way to vote.” However, NBC News recently shared that State laws may cause delays in counting mail-in votes, as 14 states, including some battlegrounds, can’t even start authenticating early mail-in ballots until November elections, much less begin tabulating results. With these possible stops due to a large number of ballots sent by mail, election administrators and legal experts urge the public to cast their votes in person whenever possible or to request and return their mail-in ballots at the earliest possible date.