GOP fears Trump attacks on mail-in vote will sabotage turnout
The R Street Institute, a think tank dedicated to free markets and limited government, recently released a study titled “Why conservatives should embrace sensible measures to expand absentee balloting.”
The study cast doubt on claims that Democrats benefit from expanded mail-in voting, pointing to three states Trump carried in 2016 — Utah, Arizona and Montana — where about 70 percent of voters cast ballots through the mail.
The R Street Institute noted that former Republican Sen. Gordon Smith was elected in Oregon after the state moved to an all-mail model. Republican Sen. Cory Gardner was elected in Colorado after the state expanded absentee balloting. This year, Republican Mike Garcia flipped a House seat held by Democrats in California in a mostly mail-in election.
The study found instances of fraud to be almost nonexistent in states that use all-mail balloting. Mail balloting is cheaper, favored by older voters and growing in popularity, the study found.
The authors pointed to GOP governors in Nebraska, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, New Hampshire and Alaska that have recently advocated for its expansion.
“To support expanded voting by mail is an imperative of conservative ideals,” the authors wrote. “And, for this reason, it is not surprising that even as pundits and special interests have spent recent months conjuring visions of electoral doom, conservative policymakers with actual governing responsibilities have moved forward with expanding access to absentee ballots.”
Image credit: Evan El-Amin