Donald Trump Is Now an Early Voting and Vote-By-Mail Evangelist

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former President Donald Trump, who previously vowed to get rid of mail-in ballots because he claimed they cause “crooked elections,” has apparently reversed his stance on absentee and early voting. 

In a new video posted to the former president’s Truth Social platform, Trump says that “absentee voting, early voting and election day voting are all good options” and encourages his Republican base to “make a plan, register and vote.” It’s the latest development in Trump and the Republican party’s complete reversal on early voting and voting by mail, after years of saying both voting methods lead to widespread election fraud.

Over the past year, the GOP has slowly realized that encouraging their base to vote early and by mail is a strategy worth pursuing, but their efforts to spread the message have often been stymied by Trump. In the leadup to the 2020 election, Trump warned his voters that voting early and by mail benefits Democrats, but research conducted in the aftermath of the election did not show any partisan advantage to alternative forms of early voting. 

In the current election cycle, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is prioritizing messaging to its voting base to vote early and vote by mail. In Pennsylvania, for example, Axios reports that three of the state’s top PACs spent at least $1.5 million ahead of the primary election to promote voting by mail. In April, the former president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., recorded a promo video for the Republican State Leadership Committee encouraging GOP voters to vote by mail. 

Despite the recent efforts by the RNC and GOP leaders to encourage early and absentee voting, Trump has continued to offer mixed messaging, saying as recently as January that voting by mail leads to “crooked elections” after he won the Iowa Republican caucus.

And, despite the push to promote early and absentee voting, Republicans in a number of states are still trying to make it harder for voters to cast their ballots early, or by mail. According to Democracy Docket’s litigation tracker, there are 14 active cases in 9 states targeting voting by mail.

Learn more about active mail-in voting cases here.