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GOP begs party members to vote by mail, spinning it as an anti-fraud opportunity

Monday, Mar 13, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* ILGOP Chair Don Tracy…

Fellow Republicans,

I am writing to you to talk about the elephant in the room, Vote By Mail. Each election cycle, we see that the general public is choosing to vote by mail in increasing numbers. This phenomenon is consistent across all types of voters, as the chart below illustrates. And of course, Democrats utilize Vote By Mail at a much higher rate than Republicans. Democrats have won many close elections on the strength of their Vote By Mail programs. Quite simply, Republicans will have an uphill battle in every election moving forward if we do not start utilizing Vote By Mail to our advantage — especially now that Illinois authorizes permanent Vote By Mail lists, which will disproportionately impact the results of our municipal elections, especially our local school boards.

We are acutely aware of problems with the Vote By Mail process. However, the harsh reality is that until we have the numbers in the legislature to change it, we have to play to win under the existing rules and we must increase Republican voter turnout by greater use of Vote By Mail. In contrast to our genuine concerns about how certain aspects of voting by mail undermine fair and honest elections, there is relatively little increased risk of fraudulent abuse of your ballot when you vote by mail as opposed to voting in person. In a sense, voting by mail can actually decrease the possibility of a bad actor voting your ballot for you.

Even for voters who prefer not to vote by mail, participating in the Vote By Mail process has advantages. Our partners at the Illinois Conservative Union speak about a “claim your name, secure your vote” strategy to Vote By Mail voting that was used with success in Virginia in 2021, and their viewpoint bears repeating here.

First, we encourage our voters to request a Vote By Mail ballot as early in the process as possible. Once that ballot arrives, the voter has “claimed their name, and secured their vote.” With that ballot in hand, there is no possibility that anyone else can cast that ballot, or request a ballot in that voter’s name.

At this point, if that voter wants to cast a ballot by mail, he or she may obviously do so. However, if that voter wants to vote in person – whether through Early Voting or on Election Day – that voter simply takes the Vote By Mail ballot with them to their polling place, and surrenders it to the election judges.

We’d want our voters to be sure to watch the election judge write “SPOILED” on the Vote By Mail ballot and secure it in a “Spoiled Ballot” envelope. After this, the voter may proceed to vote in-person at the polling place.

The wisdom of this approach is that it provides our voters with flexibility. Under this approach, if something comes up at the last minute, and a voter cannot vote in person, they can still vote using a Vote By Mail ballot. An executed Vote By Mail ballot can be delivered using the mail, in-person OR by a trusted friend or family member, using the affidavit on the Vote By Mail envelope. Whether it is in-person voting or voting by mail, we can protect our vote by claiming our name and ensuring that our ballot is cast. Whether you are a fan of voting by mail or not, it is the law of the land in Illinois. Until we elect enough Republicans to change it, we must use this system to the greatest extent possible so that we can do just that: elect more Republicans.

The included chart…

Thoughts?

…Adding… A buddy of mine with access to an Illinois Policy Institute private Facebook group just sent me this text…

The IPI guys have been trying to convince their private group members to vote by mail for months.

Every time they post its just a stream of comments decrying fraud, etc.

Reap what you sow, I suppose.

       

40 Comments
  1. - So_Ill - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 8:48 am:

    What are these problems with VBM they are “acutely aware of?”


  2. - JoanP - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 8:48 am:

    It took the GOP long enough to figure this out.

    But they may still have an uphill battle. They’ve spent so much time, money, and effort trying to convince the voters that voting by mail is rife with fraud, that doing a u-turn now may not be as effective as they’d like.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 8:49 am:

    This is exactly like a cult first telling the cultists not to drink kool-aid then telling them the look-aid is good for you.

    The simpletons who still believe the conspiracy theories likely will find it difficult to trust the democratic process again, let alone vote by mail.

    Plus, I dunno, should I dig up Tracy’s words in the past on this?

    Could be interesting.

    Tracy welcomed… flat out welcomed… conspiracy theorists… I mean, along with racist thinkers and insurrection apologists… but Tracy wanted the conspiracy folks… now this?

    Mr. Tracy, my friend… reaping what you sowed is your brand.


  4. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 8:50 am:

    Smart move, and they’ll convince their folks eventually. It’ll make life a little easier for their FOs, but it doesn’t actually solve ILGOP’s problems.


  5. - Torco Sign - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 8:53 am:

    Yeah, they’re not going to change it once they get into office (whenever that is…) so it’s sad they have to cater to the anti-VBM crowd.

    This group toured the state warning about voter fraud. OK, lying about it. Now they do a 180. I hope they realize there is, or should be, a penalty for such blatant turns. The credibility shouldn’t be there now from pro-VBM folks because they brazenly lied before. I’m glad Rich characterized their position(s) properly because it’s dangerous to reward groups for sane policy after they lose pushing laughable conspiracies.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 8:58 am:

    Just for context to how embarrassingly ridiculous Tracy is, let’s revisit February 2021…

    ===“ The only way we can capitalize on these opportunities in 2022 is if we unite the party. My number one priority is to give every Republican a seat at the table and give every Republican a voice. Regardless of our differences, Republicans are the only hope for turning Illinois around and keeping it from becoming a depopulated, over-taxed, and anti-police financial basket case. There’s too much at stake in 2022 to be anything less than a united band of brothers and sisters in the fight to save Illinois.

    So, whatever your political leanings, wherever you live – if you want to fight corruption, restore fiscal sanity, grow our economy, and stand for law and order – you’re on our team. It’s time to suit up, work together, and bring home some wins for the people of Illinois.”===

    Now vote by mail is all cool, those who believe in the conspiracies are wrong, and not only is it cool and those are wrong, they wanna ramp up what they allowed these folks to believe was “corrupt”?

    Tracy started his whole tenure in these type of lies.


  7. - Pundent - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 9:01 am:

    “Until we elect enough Republicans to change it…”

    A lukewarm endorsement for VBM at best. The GOP knows that there’s nothing inherently wrong with vote by mail. They’re in this pickle because the former President knew that any election night lead would evaporate after mail in votes were counted. He discredited the process for his own personal benefit regardless of the consequences to the party. Of course they can’t bring themselves to say it so we get spin from Tracy.


  8. - Chambananon - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 9:02 am:

    Selling vote-by-mail as a security blanket for those with paranoid fears of voter fraud.

    Sounds about right.


  9. - NIU Grad - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 9:07 am:

    “We are acutely aware of problems with the Vote By Mail process…there is relatively little increased risk of fraudulent abuse of your ballot when you vote by mail as opposed to voting in person. In a sense, voting by mail can actually decrease the possibility of a bad actor voting your ballot for you.”

    Then what are the problems? Besides the fact that constituencies that don’t usually vote Republican are now empowered to vote.


  10. - Moe Berg - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 9:18 am:

    Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.


  11. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 9:48 am:

    So, if I get this right-

    VBM has problems they are aware of…

    But VBM is safer than in person voting

    But, they want to change VBM when they get a majority? (the majority will come sometime after the 3024 general election based on current trends)

    If their voters are not confused now…sheesh.


  12. - The Truth - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:02 am:

    ==In contrast to our genuine concerns about how certain aspects of voting by mail undermine fair and honest elections, there is relatively little increased risk of fraudulent abuse of your ballot when you vote by mail as opposed to voting in person. In a sense, voting by mail can actually decrease the possibility of a bad actor voting your ballot for you.==

    This is just some restaurant-quality doublespeak. Reap it all, GOP!


  13. - Huh? - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:08 am:

    VBM is bad, but we want you to VBM because we are losing elections. But VBM is still bad. But VBM so we can get a majority and change the rules.

    Ok, which way is up? I’m going to need a chiropractor appointment for the whiplash. /s


  14. - AC - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:19 am:

    == Ok, which way is up? I’m going to need a chiropractor appointment for the whiplash. /s==

    I”m calling Tom DeVore to see if he’ll take my whiplash case. /s


  15. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:24 am:

    Maybe if the Republican Party didn’t spend all of their time telling all of their followers that there is massive fraud in our elections and that vote by mail is a big part of it they could get their members to vote by mail. Lies always come back to bite you in the rear. And that is what’s happening now. Maybe don’t like to your members.


  16. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:24 am:

    =There’s too much at stake in 2022 to be anything less than a united band of brothers and sisters in the fight to save Illinois.=

    “…now I would like to introduce two of our uniters, Tom Devore and Darrin Bailey.”

    Lol.


  17. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:25 am:

    don’t “lie” to your members


  18. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:26 am:

    Can’t wait to see the messaging that no one is above the law and poor judgment by one to try and overthrow an election doesn’t reflect on the party left behind. I think I’ll be waiting for awhile but as indictments come, you have to take a stand that aligns with the majority of voters (not just primary voters). This should be fun…


  19. - Roadrager - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:36 am:

    We need you to vote by mail, because there is nonspecific fraud going on with the mail in votes, just like you’ve heard on the Facebook and the teevee. But if you vote Republican by mail, it’ll undo all the Democrat voter fraud done by mail, and possibly even more of it in person, who can say really, but it’s definitely happening, and then once we win with your non-fraudulent mailed votes we can finally get rid of voting by mail, which as you know, is rife with fraud.

    That’s just solid, concise messaging.


  20. - PublicServant - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:36 am:

    It seems we’re having trouble making it harder for THEM to vote, so until we can prevent THEM from voting at all, and since the corrupt vote-by-mail process is convenient, we recommend that all of US vote by mail, because it’s less corrupt than in-person voting because, well, Madigan. /s


  21. - TJ - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:40 am:

    Voting by mail and early voting were both originally a huge advantage for rural conservative voters to not be inconvenienced by inclement weather on election day and for the GOP to bank their votes early.

    But then the GOP’s god-emperor decided that trying to cheat a reelection was more important than anything else, and the GOP folded into attacking everything that he didn’t like.

    Along with going hard against the postal service in general, which had always been another major economic and social boost for rural areas in particular, Republicans sure like cutting off their own noses and faces to spite Democrats.


  22. - Big Dipper - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:43 am:

    It seems super wasteful of paper, ink, and postage to request a VBM you don’t intend to use. It also seems an unnecessary drag on the time of election judges to deal with possibly hundreds of spoiled ballots. So much for the party that always howls about unnecessary spending.


  23. - flea - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:44 am:

    I cannot imagine ” a bad actor voting my ballot for me”..
    This seems so ludicrous to me that he should be emabarrassed for spewing that stuff.


  24. - New Day - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:44 am:

    Bahahahahahaha

    This is very definition of schadenfreude. Morons who followed Trump over the cliff of fake fraud are shocked…shocked to discover that votes cast before election day are better votes because you don’t have to chase them on election day. I’m only encouraged that these brilliant minds bit on the fake fraud scheme so hard that they are 100% convinced and won’t change their behavior any time soon. Hoisted on their own pitard much?


  25. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:45 am:

    Think on this. Just one sec.

    ‘Nember when Trump said that the vaccine is safe and we all need to take it, “Trump Vaccine”…

    Yeah, the simpletons booed Trump each and every time he touted vaccines.

    “Now do vote by mail”

    lol

    “Look, the deep state, man, first it’s the vaccine is ok, man, now it’s voting by mail is ok… they are infiltrating the GOP, man…”

    That Tracy, he’s got this all figured out.


  26. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 10:51 am:

    It appears I was taught a lesson in grade school that the ILGOP has yet to learn.

    You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.


  27. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 11:12 am:

    I cannot imagine ” a bad actor voting my ballot for me”..
    This seems so ludicrous to me that he should be emabarrassed for spewing that stuff.

    Speaking as a former GOP Committeeman, we had folks in our suburban organization convinced that busses of people were coming into town to vote. I would point out how illogical that was, the logistics challenges, and the rest, and they would nod politely and still keep thinking that.

    The vote fraud myth was strong way before Trump.


  28. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 11:13 am:

    If it wasn’t such a serious issue, the MAGA GOP response to VBM would be hilarious. They lie about VBM to protect the lie about a rigged election. Now that VBM continues to produce results in states where it hasn’t been curtailed to support the big lie, they now urge VBM voting.

    Thus goes the party of lies.


  29. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 11:30 am:

    “Every time they post its just a stream of comments decrying fraud, etc.”

    Maybe people don’t want malevolent leftists from the afterlife switching their votes, like Hugo Chavez. /s


  30. - Appears - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 11:46 am:

    So ILGOP Chair Don Tracy is telling voters that the GOP played them for fools, and since that didn’t work, they are playing them for stupid now?


  31. - Appears - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 11:47 am:

    Lincoln and Reagan would both be disappointed that in 2023, a political party could be this inept (including incompetent and dishonest).


  32. - Lurker - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 11:48 am:

    So these two sentences are in the same paragraph and no self-awareness to see the stupidity in oneself. Amazing.

    “… until we have the numbers in the legislature to change it …”

    “… voting by mail can actually decrease the possibility of a bad actor voting your ballot for you.”


  33. - Blue Dog - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    I envision a time when voting in person won’t be a thing.


  34. - Arsenal - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 12:30 pm:

    ==I envision a time when voting in person won’t be a thing.==

    There’s already 2-3 states that are already essentially all VBM, although some of them have some stand by in person booths.


  35. - Big Dipper - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 12:41 pm:

    Voting via the internet will be next. If it’s safe enough to do banking and pay bills online, there is no reason not to.


  36. - Pundent - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 12:49 pm:

    What Don Tracy is really saying is, until the party is in a position where we can actually suppress votes, we have to take advantage of the system we want to abolish.


  37. - The Way I See It - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 1:54 pm:

    Just 1 of the 1000 ways Trump continues to help Democrats win elections in Illinois.


  38. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 2:25 pm:

    When your own false propaganda comes back…to bite…heh.


  39. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 2:27 pm:

    BREAKING NEWS…Elephant bites Republicans.


  40. - crazy gonna crazy - Monday, Mar 13, 23 @ 6:09 pm:

    == First, we encourage our voters to request a Vote By Mail ballot as early in the process as possible. Once that ballot arrives, the voter has “claimed their name, and secured their vote.” With that ballot in hand, there is no possibility that anyone else can cast that ballot, or request a ballot in that voter’s name. ==

    This line right here shows the craziness of this logic. There’s simply no evidence to show any cases of a person requesting vote by mail ballots for someone else. It just doesn’t exist. They’re trying to manufacture a fake problem.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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