The Democratic Party machine has crushed Republicans in the contest to harvest early votes in battleground Wisconsin — inside and outside the law.
The GOP is looking to turn the tables with a new national initiative launching in the Badger State.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel this week announced that Wisconsin will be the site of the first state buildout for “Bank Your Vote,” a campaign that encourages Republican voters to pledge to “bank” their vote before Election Day.
It’s about commitment, it’s about counting on absentee ballots, and many Republicans say it’s about time.
“To beat Joe Biden and Democrats like [U.S. Senator] Tammy Baldwin in 2024, we must ensure that Republicans bank as many pre-Election Day votes as possible in Wisconsin,” McDaniel (pictured above) said. “The RNC is proud to work with Republican leaders across the state to encourage voters to Bank Your Vote and deliver Republican victories up and down the ballot next November.”
The operation, according to its praise singers, is leveraging the full infrastructure of the RNC, the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and “historic investments” in a data-driven ground game “to encourage educate, and activate Republican voters on when, where, and how to lock in their votes as early as possible.”
The effort includes a state-specific voter resource page, at bankyourvote.com, including pre-Election Day voting processes, links to state government sites where voters can request their ballot directly, and digital reminders for voters on all applicable pre-Election Day voting options.
Wisconsin Democrats mocked their Republican opponents, calling the RNC’s early-voting effort hypocritical.
“Wisconsin Republicans spent years—and millions of taxpayer dollars—casting doubt on the 2020 election and undermining safe and accessible forms of early voting, only to now reverse course in the wake of multiple embarrassing statewide defeats,” said Joe Oslund, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “This about-face to now embrace early voting is a hypocritical and deeply cynical ploy that is doomed to fail thanks to the years Republican politicians like Donald Trump, [Wisconsin Assembly Speaker] Robin Vos, and [Wisconsin GOP chairman] Brian Schimming have spent lying to their own voters about the 2020 election.”
Oslund, like much of the so-called mainstream media, conveniently left out the myriad instances of voting irregularities and violations of election law during the 2020 presidential election. Democrats and liberal activists, financed by mega-donors like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, used the cover of COVID and the fear it spawned to push unprecedented mail-in voting. Local election offices, particularly in Milwaukee, Madison and other Democrat-heavy Wisconsin cities rolled out the widespread use of absentee ballot drop boxes, which the Wisconsin Supreme Court ultimately found violated state election law.
Now, with liberal justices about to hold a 4-3 majority for the first time in years, a left-wing law firm run by Hillary Clinton’s political fixer has filed a lawsuit to restore the widespread use of drop boxes in the state.
The GOP, it would seem, has seen the writing on the wall: If you can’t beat, them join them.
And Democrats have been badly beating Republicans in the early-voting game. Just days before last November’s midterm election, Wisconsin’s Democrat strongholds were far outpacing Republican bastions, with Dane County voters returning nearly 100,000 absentee ballots and Milwaukee County seeing nearly 90,000 early returns, according to the Wisconsin Election Commission.
The pandemic drove vote-by-mail numbers through the roof in 2020, but Republicans lagged behind Democrat voters.
According to a Pew Research poll, 58 percent of voters who cast ballots for Joe Biden in 2020 said they voted absentee or mail-in, while just 32 percent of Trump voters did so. Meanwhile, only 17 percent of Biden voters voted in person on Election Day compared to 37 percent of Trump voters who did.
Republicans in large numbers remained more resistant to early voting in 2022, which saw a predicted “red wave” mostly staunched.
“Building on our absentee return rate, early in-person voting, and ballot harvesting success in 2022, Republicans must now improve on our overall number of pre-Election Day voters to ultimately secure victory in 2024,” the RNC said in the press release.
Interestingly, the Republican Party in Wisconsin and elsewhere fought against massive ballot harvesting efforts in liberal cities in 2020. Now they are embracing them in large part because the legally suspect practices have been allowed by elections regulators and many courts — election integrity be damned.
“A crucial part of getting Republican voters to become pre-Election Day voters will be ensuring voter confidence in elections through our continued Protect Your Vote efforts. In 2022, we had over 5,000 Poll Worker shifts and more than 1,300 Election Observer shifts across Wisconsin to Protect Your Vote,” the RNC said.
The Bank Your Vote Wisconsin Leadership Team includes Republicans from across the state.
- U.S. Senator Ron Johnson
- Congressman Bryan Steil
- Congressman Derrick Van Orden
- Congressman Scott Fitzgerald
- Congressman Glenn Grothman
- Congressman Tom Tiffany
- Congressman Mike Gallagher
- RNC Members
- Chairman Brian Schimming
- Committeeman Tom Schreibel
- Committeewoman Maripat Krueger
- Republican Party of Wisconsin Third Congressional District Vice-Chair Hannah Testin
- Election Integrity
- Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney
“The road to winning back the White House and the U.S. Senate begins here in Wisconsin. Encouraging Wisconsin conservatives to ‘Bank Your Vote’ early will ensure Republican candidates reach more voters than ever before,” Schimming said in the press release. “As Chair, I have made it a top priority to get Wisconsin Republicans to use every tool in the toolbox, especially early voting; a crucial effort that will also strengthen our ground game and help Republican candidates reach more low propensity and swing voters.”
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