Trump has been railing against the idea of mail-in voting for a while now, even as he claims that it's fine sometimes, like when he does it, and even though there is no substantial body of evidence that anyone has ever seen to suggest any kind of pattern of rampant individual voter fraud. Of course, reality itself has never been enough to stop the fury of the Great Orange Beast.
But once again, his own steamrolling arrogance may be his undoing. As the Washington Post reports, Trump's frequent tirades against mail-in voting have thus far only succeeded in discouraging Republican voters from using the option:
In Virginia, 118,000 voters applied for absentee ballots for Democratic primaries June 23, while only 59,000 voters did so for the Republican primary — even though Republicans voted in a statewide Senate primary contest, while Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) was unopposed for his nomination.
Mail voting also soared in Kentucky's June 23 primary; only about 10 percent of Democratic votes were cast on the day of the election, while 20 percent of GOP votes were.
Similarly, in Georgia's June 9 primaries, about 600,000 voters cast mail ballots in Democratic primaries, while about 524,000 did so in Republican contests, according to the Georgia secretary of state's office.
This is particularly notable because, as NBC News previously reported:
Until now, the main factor as to whether a state embraced vote-by-mail was not its partisan lean, but its geographical location. West of Colorado, 69 percent of ballots are cast by mail, compared to only 27 percent of ballots nationwide, according to the National Vote at Home Institute.
Deeply conservative Utah has moved almost entirely to vote-by-mail in recent years while the Republican secretary of state in Washington is one of its biggest champions. Meanwhile, true-blue states like New York and several in New England have some of the more restrictive absentee balloting rules in the country.
This is a perfect microcosm of every right-wing freak out over "protecting elections" — the harder you make it vote, the more likely it is to come back around and bite you in the ass.
This situation just comes with the bonus irony of Trump supporters taking what have typically been methods of Black voter suppression through hoop-jumping discouragement and using them on themselves to … pwn the libs, I guess?
Trump's attacks on mail voting are turning Republicans off absentee ballots [Amy Gardner and
Josh Dawsey / The Washington Post]
Coronavirus has ignited a battle over voting by mail. Here's why it's so controversial. [Alex Seitz-Wald and Sahil Kapur / NBC News]
Trump calls mail-in ballots "corrupt" but reiterates that it's fine when he does it
Image: Jeff Knezovich / Flickr (CC 2.0)