Why the GOP is Pushing Ballot Harvesting and Voting Early
The Republican National Committee recently released an effort called Bank Your Vote, which urges Republicans to jump on the ballot harvesting train, wherever it’s legal, ahead of the 2024 election. It’s also encouraging Republican voters to pledge banking votes through early voting, in-person voting or mail-in ballots.
Voting early in elections has always been a contentious issue with the Republican Party, since many in the GOP historically vote on Election Day. The belief is that voting on election day would leave the opponents fewer opportunities to cheat because they wouldn’t know how many ballots to come up with to win. That all changed with the 2020 election, which surveys now indicate over three quarters of Republicans belief was tainted by voter fraud, including same-day voting disenfranchisement. Recall the scanner/printer issues in Arizona along with the Sharpies that bled through ballots? The long lines to vote in-person? Election integrity aside, voting early could be a one positive step toward reclaiming the White House.
Here are Six Reasons to Vote Early
- You might be unable to get to the polls
It’s Election Day, and you wake up with a fever. You have a car accident the day before and are in the hospital. You go into premature labor or fly to another city on a last-minute work trip that prevents you from voting. Some people just forget to do it, or they can’t find parking and the line is out the door. Whatever it is, sometimes good intentions prevent you from voting in-person on election day. So if you have an opportunity to vote early, why not?
- It’s convenient with your schedule
All 50 states (and six territories) allow people to vote in-person early and many have instituted mail-in ballots for all. Some states such as Pennsylvania allow a lengthy amount of time--50 days to vote in-person prior to the election. Whereas others allow up to ten days. Vote when it’s easiest for you, but if you live in a state that allows over three weeks of early voting, exercise caution on voting too early. Why? You might be missing out on information from last-minute debates that could sway your opinion. For instance, When John Fetterman debated Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania in the Senator’s race last October, Fetterman, a stroke victim, struggled to make it through the debate. Many Pennsylvanians reported that they would have voted differently if they’d seen the now-elected Senator Fetterman’s performance.
- Avoid the long lines
Election Day is usually associated with long lines. Why stand in line for an hour or more, when you zip in and out of the voting facility quickly during early voting?
- Help Local Candidates
Especially in local races, voting early can help local candidates gauge how well they’re doing. By analyzing daily voting totals, candidates can see which political party a voter might be affiliated with, and then make an estimated guess on how well they’re doing based on that data. That information is critical to determine last- minute marketing and get-out-the-vote efforts, such as block walking and texting. For instance, if a race is looking tight, a candidate might organize a last-minute texting party or increase internet advertising, all of which can make a difference.
- Democrats are doing it
The Democrat party showed in the last election how adept they are at harvesting ballots, which is basically collecting absentee ballots on behalf of other voters, something that 26 states allow. About half of those states limit how many ballots a person can gather and stuff in the drop boxes as Dinesh D’Souza showed in his documentary “10,000 Mules.” California is one state that has greatly expanded its ballot collection program to allow ballot harvesters to be paid, but not per ballot. On the other hand, some states prohibit ballot harvesting.
- This is the way
The Republican National Committee isn’t the only one encouraging people to vote early and engage in ballot harvesting. Many conservative grassroots activists share this view and are busy registering thousands of voters through get-out- the-vote efforts. The consensus is that voting early and ballot harvesting efforts, where legal, are imperative to winning the next election. So, as you start to think about the upcoming elections, it’s never too soon to get involved and don’t forget to vote early!