Pennsylvania Republicans keep contradicting themselves on mail-in voting - TAI News
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Pennsylvania Republicans want to have it both ways on the issue of mail-in voting, pursuing efforts to promote the practice to party members while also working to restrict some mail-in votes.

Reuters reported on Feb. 23 that a group of Republican leaders in Pennsylvania is attempting to raise $8 million for a voter education campaign to reassure the party’s voters that voting by mail is safe and secure.

Republicans have come up short in recent Pennsylvania elections, and the increased use of mail-in and absentee ballots since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to that.

In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden received nearly four times as many mail-in votes (1,995,691) as former President Donald Trump did (595,538 votes). The results in the 2022 Senate race were similarly lopsided, with Democrat John Fetterman defeating the Republican candidate, Mehmet Oz, by a margin of over 726,000 mail-in votes.

Trump has frequently attacked mail-in voting and pushed debunked conspiracy theories related to the practice. Before losing to Biden in 2020, Trump said, “The ballots are out of control” and called for getting rid of them. Assessing Trump’s statements in September 2020, stated, “The president repeatedly sows doubt about mail-in voting, echoing what intelligence officials have said is a Russian strategy to undermine public trust in the election.” It quoted FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before Congress that a “steady drumbeat of misinformation” about the integrity of the vote had contributed to a lack of confidence among voters.

Since the election, Trump has continued to promote falsehoods about the election results, including the claim that he won and that mail-in voting is a fraud.

“The President’s remarks are not helpful in convincing donors to provide the money for a robust mail-in ballot effort, which many feel is desperately needed,” Sam DeMarco, chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Committee, told Reuters.

While some are working to promote mail-in voting within the GOP, the Pennsylvania Republican Party in 2022 petitioned the state Supreme Court to disqualify some mail-in votes. The party won its case, and several thousand ballots were not counted in that year’s elections.

The Pennsylvania State Conference of NAACP Branches, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, and a coalition of voting rights advocates filed a federal lawsuit in November 2022 challenging the court’s decision. The case is currently pending.

In December 2023, the Democratic Party filed a motion to intervene in the case to ensure that ballots cast in the 2024 election are counted.

“Every eligible voter in Pennsylvania and across the country has a constitutional right to have their voice heard, but Republicans’ assaults on their freedom to cast their ballots would throw away Pennsylvanians’ perfectly legal votes and undermine our democracy,” Democratic National Committee Executive Director Sam Cornale, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Christie Roberts, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Executive Director Julie Merz said in a joint statement on the motion.

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The Pennsylvania Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.