Mail-In Voting Is Here to Stay; GOP Must Adapt or Lose

In a perfect world, voters would be required to show up on Election Day to cast their ballots. Unfortunately, the pandemic handed Democrats a golden opportunity to implement mail-in voting and its close cousins, early voting and ballot harvesting, on an unprecedented scale. As dangerous and unpalatable as these activities may be, they are here to stay.

By Election Day, Democratic candidates, who have been getting out the vote for weeks, are often way ahead of their Republican rivals, who start the day with a serious vote deficit.

The Messenger’s Kristin Tate highlighted just how pervasive – and pivotal – the use of mail-in voting was in the 2020 election in a recent article.

In 2020, only about a third of Americans voted at a physical polling location on Election Day. … The expansion of Election Day to “Election Month” brought out a number of lower-propensity, and arguably lower-information, voters who cast their ballots by the millions. Young people increased their voting share sharply in the last election.

In some states, the changes were even more dramatic. Between 2016 and 2020, New Jersey saw its share of mail ballots increase from just 7% to an astounding 86%. The partisan lean should be no more surprising. Among voters in Pennsylvania who voted by mail, 76% went for Joe Biden. In Maryland, it was 81%. In the crucial state of Georgia, Trump received just 34% of the mail-in ballots.

The 2020 trampling of precedent under the guise of an “emergency” was especially pronounced in critical states such as Pennsylvania, where officials were ordered to count mail-in ballots that arrived within three days after the election toward the final result — even those that did not have a postmark. The move undoubtedly had a massive impact on the swing state’s outcome.

Regrettable as it is, mail-in voting is here to stay. This means that if Republicans ever plan to win another election, we need to hop on the bandwagon – fast. We must master vote-by-mail and the other techniques that have worked so well for Democrats in the past few election cycles, or we will continue to lose otherwise winnable races.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who won reelection by nearly 20 points last year, showed us just how it’s done. In April 2022, the governor signed Senate Bill 524, Election Administration, into law. This legislation was aimed at strengthening election integrity in the state.

Provisions of the bill included “requiring voter rolls to be annually reviewed and updated, strengthening ID requirements, establishing the Office of Election Crimes and Security to investigate election law violations, and increasing penalties for violations of election laws.”

At the bill-signing ceremony, DeSantis reminded reporters of the debacle that had occurred in the state following the 2000 presidential election. He then explained the steps his administration has taken to ensure secure elections.

Twenty years ago, nobody thought Florida was a prime example of how to conduct elections, but we have become a national leader by running the most secure elections in the country. We need to do more to ensure our elections remain secure. We have ended ballot harvesting, stopped drop boxes and the mass mailing of ballots, and banned Zuckerbucks, and this bill will give us more resources to make sure bad actors are held accountable.

I’ve certainly been wrong before, but I am firmly convinced that, if not for the introduction of nearly universal mail-in voting in 2020, early voting, and the widespread use of ballot harvesting, former President Donald Trump would have won reelection.

Republicans should have been better prepared to thwart the Democrats’ chicanery in 2020. Perhaps they underestimated the length to which the party would go to win.

Three years later, we know that Democrats will do anything to remain in power.

We must do better. America can’t survive another five years of Democratic rule.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.