Pennsylvania Republicans are reconsidering their attacks on mail voting after losing statewide elections in back-to-back cycles, Politico reports.
Republicans across the state have criticized mail voting, filed lawsuits aimed at curtailing the practice and pushed bills to restrict mail ballots over the last two years.
They also lost Trump’s re-election bid in the state in 2020 and both the gubernatorial and Senate races in 2022.
Now, the party is reconsidering its strategy.
“There’s no question in my mind that Republicans have to have a different mail-in strategy,” Andy Reilly, a Republican National Committeeman in Pennsylvania, told Politico. “When one party votes for 30 days and one party votes for one, you’re definitely going to lose.”
Other Republicans are also coming around. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, both potential 2024 presidential candidates, have urged Republicans not to ignore the voting method.
Perhaps no state party has been as anti-mail voting as Pennsylvania’s GOP, which backed a 2019 law backing no-excuse mail voting before changing their tune amid former President Donald Trump’s attacks.
Republicans attacked Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf over the implementation of no-excuse mail voting and criticized court rulings that allowed the use of drop boxes and the counting of late-arriving ballots that were postmarked by Election Day.
Gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano vowed to eliminate no-excuse mail voting and other Republican leaders similarly pushed to do the same.
The losses in the midterms have prompted the party to rethink.
“Republicans focus on Election Day turnout and Democrats started a month ahead of time,” former Rep. Lou Barletta told Politico. “If we want to win, if Republicans want to win, they got to get better at” mail voting.
“Republican and conservative activists need to embrace mail-in voting, as it isn’t going away any time soon,” wrote GOP state Rep. Russ Diamond. “Our goal isn’t to convince regular voters to vote by mail, but to figure out how to cultivate mail-in votes from those registered Republicans who vote infrequently or don’t vote at all.”