Republicans can and should beat Democrats at the mail-in ballot game.
Liz Preate Havey, chairperson of the Montgomery County Republicans, floated the idea last year that Republicans had to both elect a Republican governor who would lead the charge to get rid of Pennsylvania Act 77, which opened the door to Democrats instituting mail-in balloting in the state. Still, simultaneously, the GOP should have a better mail-in ballot game to elect more Republicans in the 2022 elections.
Liz made this point cautiously. I think it’s time to boldly embrace her idea. It’s time to compete and win in the mail-in ballot arena.
Last month, Democrats dominated Republicans in getting their vote out well before Election Day. Andy Reilly, a Republican National Committeeman in Pennsylvania, put it well when he told Politico, “When one party votes for 30 days and one-party votes for one, you’re going to lose.”
Republicans must persuade all voters, particularly those who vote somewhat irregularly but lean toward the GOP, to vote by mail. On his website, Conservative GOP State Rep. Russ Diamond said, “Our goal isn’t to convince regular voters to vote by mail, but to figure out how to cultivate mail-in votes from those registered Republicans who vote infrequently or don’t vote at all.”
Athan Koutsiouroumbas, a local Republican strategist has brilliantly, on my show, broken down how Democrats were relentlessly effective in their mail-in ballot campaign. In the local Statehouse races, they offered people mail-in ballot applications on their door-to-door visits, and they repeatedly followed up to see if people submitted their ballots. They effectively used local media to promote mail-in balloting.
They are a template to study how to do this. It mostly takes commitment to the details and a lot of elbow grease. Delaware County used to be Republican almost as much as Philadelphia is Democratic. I know more people who lean toward the Democrats have moved into the county, but they are also outworking Republicans.
Many listeners who call me or interact on social media accept that for the big 2024 election, Republicans must match the Democrats’ mail-ballot ground game. However, on my Twitter feed, I’ve started to see people who can’t accept this. They make the argument that many Americans have died to protect our right to vote and going along with mail-in balloting negates degrades that sacrifice.
I’d liken my approach to things that I don’t like in sports. I wouldn’t say I like the designated hitter rule. However, if I’m managing, I will have the best designated hitters and the biggest advantage possible. In sports, even if you use the rule to your advantage, it doesn’t mean you can eliminate it. In elections, if you win enough, you can get rid of things like mail-in ballots. In the meantime, you must play by the rules you’re given.
I put this new commitment to winning the mail-in ballot campaign in the same category of importance as Republicans preventing any candidate for statewide office from getting the nomination if they refuse allow exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother regarding abortion restrictions. You can call it the “Mastriano Rule.” It’s proven you will not win statewide if you go down Mastriano’s path and you will hurt other Republican candidates.
Liz Preate Havey was ahead of her time when she proposed developing strategies that would commit Republicans to the mail-in balloting world that we live in. Apparently, Republicans used to do very well in the absentee ballot arena. This is just an extension of that field.
The time to start is now while the point is fresh.