Pennsylvania Republicans are reconsidering their opposition to mail-in voting after two statewide election losses in a row.
The battleground state's Republican officials have followed Donald Trump's lead in challenging mail voting through lawsuits and the legislature, but their efforts helped cost the former president re-election and led to a disastrous midterm election cycle for them -- and now they're beginning to see the light, reported Politico.
“There’s no question in my mind that Republicans have to have a different mail-in strategy,” said Andy Reilly, a Republican National Committeeman in Pennsylvania. “When one party votes for 30 days and one party votes for one, you’re definitely going to lose.”
Nearly every GOP state legislator supported a 2019 law allowing no-excuse mail voting, but they flip-flopped a year later when Trump raged against voting by mail, and 2022 gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano pledged to end the practice if elected -- which he wasn't.
“Republicans focus on Election Day turnout and Democrats started a month ahead of time,” said former Rep. Lou Barletta, who unsuccessfully challenged Mastriano in the GOP gubernatorial primary. “If we want to win, if Republicans want to win, they got to get better at [mail voting]."
Republicans still complain that Democrats botched the state's new vote-by-mail law in 2020, but one conservative activist compared their opposition to the system to a basketball player who refuses to shoot three-pointers because he doesn't like the rule.
“You could play a game that way, and more times than not, you would lose,” said Charlie Gerow, the Pennsylvania-based vice chair of the Conservative Political Action Coalition. “Or you can say, ‘Hey, I don’t like the three-point line but, by gosh, I’m going to be the best three-point shooter you can find,' and that’s what I think the Republicans have to be now.”