Republicans suddenly discover the value of mail-in ballots

Kari Lake, the Trump acolyte who was defeated in her race for governor of Arizona, has filed a lawsuit alleging (like her leader Trump) that the election was stolen from her.

The lawsuit filed late on Friday by Lake centers on long lines and other difficulties that people experienced while voting on election day in Maricopa county. The challenge filed in Maricopa county superior court also alleges hundreds of thousands of ballots were illegally cast, but there is no evidence that is true.

Lake has refused to acknowledge that she lost to Hobbs by more than 17,000 votes. The Donald Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate has bombarded Maricopa county with complaints, largely related to a problem with printers at some vote centers that led to ballots being printed with markings that were too light to be read by the on-site tabulators.

Lines backed up in some polling places, fueling Republican suspicions that some supporters were unable to cast a ballot, though there is no evidence it affected the outcome. County officials say everyone was able to vote and all legal ballots were counted.

Lake’s lawsuit says Republicans were disproportionately affected by the problems in Maricopa county because they outvoted Democrats on election day 3-1. GOP leaders had urged their voters to wait until election day to vote.

Other experts say that her lawsuit is filled with falsehoods.

But there were glitches in voting in some precincts due to malfunctioning machines, as her lawsuit claims, even if they did not change the results. This is why early and mail-in voting is helpful. It not only aids people who might find it hard to get to the polls and stand in line, it also reduces the number of people who turn up on election day. But Trump, flailing around after his loss in 2020 to find reasons to challenge the result, zeroed in on early voting because he could spin a scenario that seemed to support his claims of fraud.

He had earlier prepared for this by misleading people with the false claim that votes cast early were more likely to be tampered with, and hence his supporters were urged to vote in person on election day, while Democrats urged them to vote early. Because the early votes take longer to count, the early returns are dominated by votes cast on election day that favored Republicans while the later ones favored Democrats. This was predicted well in advance but Trump cynically seized on this expected feature to argue that election officials, seeing that Trump was winning, somehow finagled the later vote counts to make him lose.

This news story says that Republican party leaders, smarting from the failure of thew Red Wave to materialize this year, are now ruing that strategy.

In Georgia’s Senate runoff, Republicans once more met the realities of giving Democrats a head start they could not overcome.

According to tallies from the secretary of state, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock built a lead of more than 320,000 votes heading into Tuesday’s election. He topped Republican Herschel Walker by an almost 2-1 ratio in mailed ballots and had an advantage of more than 250,000 early, in-person votes over Walker. So even with Walker gaining more votes on Election Day, the challenger lost by nearly 97,000 votes.

It was only the latest example of how Republicans have handed Democrats an advantage in balloting due to former President Donald Trump’s lies about the risks of mail voting. Conservative conspiracy theorists urged GOP voters to wait until Election Day before casting their ballots and spun tales about how such a strategy would prevent Democrats from rigging voting machines to steal the election.

There was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election or this year’s midterms.

One problem with such a strategy is the random glitches that often arise on Election Day.

In Arizona’s most populous county, for example, a printer error created long lines at several voting locations on Nov. 8. Republicans ended up losing several statewide contests, including for governor and secretary of state, although Maricopa County officials said all voters had a chance to cast a ballot and that all valid ballots were counted.

In northern Nevada, a snow storm made travel tricky on Election Day. The Republican candidate for Senate lost his race by 8,000 votes. In Georgia’s runoff, rain drenched the state as the disproportionately Republican crowd finally made its way to the polls.

Republican leaders, Fox News, and other right wing media are now feigning puzzlement as to why more Republicans are not voting early, but carefully avoid pointing out that it was their dear leader Trump who vigorously pushed that message.

In Washington, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the second-ranking GOP leader, told reporters: “We’ve got to get better at turnout operations, especially in states that use mail-in balloting extensively.”

Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said in an interview on Fox News this week that Republican voters need to cast ballots early.

“I have said this over and over again,” she said. “There were many in 2020 saying, ‘Don’t vote by mail, don’t vote early.’ And we have to stop that.”

McDaniel did not name the main person in 2020 who was attacking voting before Election Day — Trump.

One of the worst performances for election conspiracy theorists was in Pennsylvania, where the Republican candidate for governor, who had watched as protesters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, lost by nearly 15 percentage points. The GOP also lost a Senate seat there and control of the lower house of the legislature.

Democrats out-voted Republicans by mail by more than 3-to-1, netting 69% of the nearly 1.25 million mail ballots cast in the state. That was almost one-fourth of a total of nearly 5.4 million ballots cast.

Other Republicans are calling it like it is.

“Republican attitudes on mail-in ballots are going to have to change,” said Sam DeMarco, chair of the Allegheny County GOP. “President Trump is running across the country telling people not to use it, and it’s crushing us.”

Will Trump listen to saner voices and change his policy? Does he ever?


  1. steve oberski says

    In northern Nevada, a snow storm made travel tricky on Election Day. The Republican candidate for Senate lost his race by 8,000 votes. In Georgia’s runoff, rain drenched the state

    GOP voters completely unaware of the irony of climate change induced bad weather affecting voting.

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