GOP group releases ad advocating for voting by mail amid coronavirus pandemic
An anti-Trump Republican group is advocating for lawmakers to help states prepare for mail-in ballots for the November election amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Republicans for the Rule of Law is pushing for voting by mail as part of a new ad shared exclusively with The Hill on Thursday.
The ad is set to run on Fox News and digital platforms. It features a Marine veteran from Pennsylvania who says he’s been a Republican since 1967.
“People should have the option to vote absentee in November,” Joe Blake, the veteran, said in the ad. “Nobody knows whether you’re going to be safe standing in the line at the polling place.”
Blake said he’s voted absentee in the past, for former President Nixon and twice for former President Reagan.
“I have never had any reason to doubt that my absentee ballot was counted. We need to make sure that there is access to voting by mail,” Blake said.
Republicans for the Rule of Law spokeswoman Sarah Longwell said in a statement that Congress needs to ensure states have the resources to prepare for voting by mail and to expand absentee voting.
“If it works for our men and women in uniform, it can work for us,” Longwell said.
The ad is the latest from Republicans for the Rule of Law advocating for expanded voting by mail efforts amid the pandemic. The group released a 30-second ad last week, which ran during President Trump’s Fox News town hall, featuring Republican voters from across the country pushing for expanded efforts.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans said they support voting by mail as an alternative to in-person voting if the coronavirus poses a public health threat in November, according to a USA Today-Suffolk University poll released earlier this week.
But the support broke along party lines, with Republicans voicing more opposition to voting by mail than Democrats and independents.
Trump has repeatedly rebuked mail-in voting and last month he urged Republicans to “fight very hard” against expanding it, citing the potential for fraud, even as studies have shown such incidents remain limited.
Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington already conduct their elections by mail.
Democrats have pushed for legislation to expand funding legislation for mail-in voting, arguing states should be prepared to cast ballots that way in the event the pandemic prevents in-person voting.
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