“Donald Trump Changes Tune on Mail-in Voting, Ballot Collection”


After years of assailing early voting, Donald Trump is having a change of heart.

The 2024 presidential candidate remains critical of various forms of early voting, advisers say, but his campaign is nonetheless mounting an effort to pursue such votes after Democrats excelled at doing so in recent elections. His team is studying state laws governing absentee and mail-in voting as well as ballot collection, called “ballot harvesting” by critics, in which third parties gather and turn in votes, people familiar with the effort said.

It amounts to a significant shift for Mr. Trump and comes as GOP rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, say the party squandered chances in recent elections by focusing too much on Election Day turnout.

Mr. Trump highlighted the move in a fundraising email this week, saying, “The radical Democrats have used ballot harvesting to cancel out YOUR vote and walk away with elections that they NEVER should have won. But I’m doing something HUGE to fight back.”

The email added, “Our path forward is to MASTER the Democrats’ own game of harvesting ballots in every state we can. But that also means we need to start laying the foundation for victory RIGHT NOW.”

In December, Mr. Trump told Breitbart News that the GOP has no choice but to “live with the system that stinks,” while maintaining “a mail-in ballot will always be corrupt” and that Republicans should seek to change laws.

His criticism of mail-in voting, before and since his 2020 loss, helped chip away at GOP faith in early voting, polls show, and party strategists say that has contributed to election defeats, including in gubernatorial and Senate races in Arizona and Pennsylvania last November.

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