Trump campaign has to work overtime to counter the President's message on mail-in voting
August 23, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.
An election worker opens envelopes containing vote-by-mail ballots for the August 4 Washington state primary at King County Elections in Renton, Washington on August 3, 2020. (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)
While President Donald Trump continues to attack mail-in voting, the massive political machine trying to get him reelected is working hard to assure Republican voters that mail-in ballots are safe to use this fall.
(CNN)While President Donald Trump continues to attack mail-in voting, the massive political machine trying to get him reelected is working hard to assure Republican voters that mail-in ballots are safe to use this fall.
For months, the Trump Victory Fund -- the joint operation between the President's campaign and the Republican National Committee -- has been coordinating with local party officials to train field operatives and volunteers to spread the word about how to vote by mail.
In North Carolina and Florida, voters have received notices from Trump Victory with Trump's photo on it urging them to "securely and safely request your absentee ballot. " The New Mexico state GOP recently sent out a mailer to voters encouraging them to "join President Trump and vote by absentee ballot. " And in Pennsylvania, a crucial swing state where any registered voter can apply for a mail-in ballot under a law passed last year, Trump campaign officials and local party chairs are making sure Republicans across the state are aware of the option.
Further complicating the situation are the numerous lawsuits brought by the Trump campaign and the Republican party to try limiting mail-in voting access in states across the country.
Trump Victory boasts it has more than 1,500 paid staff members and a nearly 2-million-person volunteer corps as the central part of its aggressive campaign to both register voters and educate them on voting laws and ballot deadlines in their state.
In some states, every registered voter is automatically sent a ballot, also known as universal mail-in voting, while in others a voter must first request one, which is closer to what is known as absentee voting.
Republican operatives and activists in states with mail-in voting options have struggled to counter this messaging as they work to educate their voters.
And when it comes to mail in voting specifically, the RNC has hosted dozens of "Trump Victory Leadership Initiative Trainings" both virtually and in person to "educate and train voters on various voting methods and state laws" -- including mail-in and absentee.
It's less restrictive now, so we want to make sure we're taking advantage of that," said Robinson, who opened the training session and oversees more than 120 paid Trump Victory staffers in Pennsylvania -- all of whom are working with local party chairs, activists, and volunteers to spread the word about mail-in voting.
Kelly Bellerby-Allen, a candidate for state representative from Croydon who attended the training in Doylestown, told CNN that most Republican voters she talks with are looking forward to voting in person but that because of COVID she's encouraging elderly voters to consider mailing in their ballots.