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Youngkin’s Early Vote Gamble Could Have Big 2024 Implications

Posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2023
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AMAC Exclusive – By B.C. Brutus

Youngkin

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s recently unveiled “Secure Your Vote” campaign is the most ambitious early vote operation to date by a statewide Republican officeholder, and will provide crucial data as the GOP looks to boost turnout on a national level through early and mail-in voting next year.

Youngkin’s initiative reflects the evolving approach of the Republican Party toward early voting. In 2020, most Republicans decried new pandemic-inspired laws implementing sweeping changes like no-excuse absentee voting and universal mail-in ballots, raising legitimate concerns about the security of such practices.

But the country soon saw that those “one-time” exceptions actually represented a fundamental shift in the way states conduct elections. If Republicans want to change voting laws and make elections more secure, they will have to do so by taking full advantage of the new early voting procedures – just as Democrats have done from the start.

GOP leaders have since been working to build their own early vote turnout machines, while also pushing for legislative changes to make early voting more secure. Last month, the RNC launched its “Bank Your Vote” campaign to “encourage, educate, and activate Republican voters on when, where, and how to lock in their votes as early as possible, through in-person early voting, absentee voting, and ballot harvesting where legal.”

Youngkin’s Secure Your Vote push, which the governor announced last Tuesday, is loosely modeled on the larger GOP effort, but specifically focused on Virginia’s legislative elections this fall. The initiative’s website, a joint project of Youngkin’s Spirit of Virginia PAC, the Republican Party of Virginia, the Republican State Leadership Committee, the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus, and the Virginia House of Delegates Republican Caucus, provides step-by-step guides for voters to vote by mail or vote early in person.

“We can’t go into our elections down thousands of votes,” Youngkin said in a video posted to Twitter. “You can secure your vote before Election Day… we’ve made it easy to do so.”

Republicans are hopeful that the early vote push will help them take full control of the state government after Virginia seemed to be trending solidly Democrat just a few years ago. Joe Biden won the Old Dominion by 10 points in 2020, but Youngkin’s surprise victory over former Governor Terry McAuliffe in 2021, bringing with it a GOP majority in the House of Delegates, means Republicans are just two state senate seats away from a trifecta in Richmond.

But the optimism following Youngkin’s victory has undoubtedly faded somewhat over the past two years amid other disappointing results. Of the three Virginia U.S. House seats controlled by Democrats that were seen as potential GOP flips in last year’s midterms, Republicans flipped just one, with state senator Jen Kiggans defeating incumbent Elaine Luria. Virginia Republicans also suffered another setback in the special election to fill Kiggans’s vacated senate seat, with Democrat Aaron Rouse narrowly defeating Republican Kevin Adams.

Youngkin and Virginia Republicans are betting big that Secure Your Vote will get things back on track. Just as was the case in 2021, all eyes in the political world will be trained on Virginia this fall as an early indicator of things to come in 2024.

Secure Your Vote will provide the first large-scale, real-world data on how successful GOP early vote operations might be – and perhaps what strategies to avoid. With many Republican voters still understandably skeptical about mail-in ballots and other early voting procedures, Virginia is now a testing ground for whether or not other efforts like Bank Your Vote will be a viable way to boost turnout.

Youngkin’s early vote campaign might also have major implications for his own political future. With Virginia governors limited to one term, speculation about the 56-year-old first-time politician as a potential presidential contender began swirling from the moment he won two years ago.

Although Youngkin has said that he’s not running for president “this year,” some pundits still believe that he could use a favorable outcome in November as a launch pad for a late entry into the race – particularly with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fading quickly as the leading challenger to former President Donald Trump.

But all of those hypothetical plans are contingent on Secure Your Vote actually producing a positive outcome for the GOP – something which is far from a sure thing.

Since the expansion of early voting in 2020, non-Election Day votes in Virginia have tilted heavily Democrat – a pattern repeated virtually everywhere else in the country. In the Rouse vs. Adams state senate special election, for instance, the Democrat Rouse won 72 percent of all early votes. In 2021, even with Republicans having a good night overall, Virginia Democrats won the early in-person vote 57 percent to 41 percent, and the mail-in vote by a whopping 76 percent to 21 percent.

That’s a massive gap to close through a public messaging campaign with just a few months to go until Election Day. With significant resources being poured into Secure Your Vote (Youngkin’s PAC is reportedly spending seven figures on the effort) that means less money for traditional advertising and voter outreach efforts.

The gamble Youngkin and Virginia Republicans are making is that there are a significant number of voters out there who will vote early for Republican candidates who might otherwise stay home on Election Day. Moreover, they are betting that number is large enough to offset the additional Democrat early votes that this effort is sure to turn out.

If Youngkin is right, Republicans will have a blueprint to match Democrats’ early vote efforts next year – a development that would inspire fear in even the most optimistic Democrat operative.

B.C. Brutus is the pen name of a writer with previous experience in the legislative and executive branches.

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Paul
Paul
11 months ago

The Dems are not turning out voters…they are turning out BALLOTS! Big difference. We must be able to ONLY count legal, certifiable, chain of custody votes. I think we are a long ways from that point, especially in certain states…

Melinda
Melinda
11 months ago

I believe one day to vote is right, not several. I live in a state with all mail in voting, and I don’t trust it (WA has not elected a Republican governor since). I hope Youngkin’s plan works, but the Dems will just invent another way to cheat.

History 101
History 101
11 months ago

The Left continues to hand us our back sides because they CHEAT. They stuff targeted precincts all around the country with tens of thousands of phony, forged ballots as soon as the numbers come in from the actual election, by claiming to extend vote counts beyond the election proper, locking down polling locations and unloading the trucks. 81 million votes my ASS. The Right’s biggest problem is we have a party advocating for us half full of feckless, crooked cowards who are all just as dirty as their counterparts on the Left and they don’t want that getting out and messing up their gig, so they make lots of bombastic noise, thump their chests and when the rubber meets the road, do nothing. If anyone needs an example of this, please refer back to Kevin McCarthy’s all-blow and no-go budget fight with the Communists this last year. The Left got virtually everything they wanted. We walked away with the bill. Nice. Better start waking up folks, or we’re going to be on the losing end of the most massive civil conflict this country has seen since the Civil War.

Dan W.
Dan W.
11 months ago

Youngkin’s strategy is sound. We can’t just sit around hoping for a big election day turnout while the Dems are turning out their voters for six weeks in advance of the election.
The Utah GOP has had success with mail-in voting for years. Time for the other 49 states to join Utah in the 21st century and beat the Dems at their own game.

Rik
Rik
11 months ago

Trying to match the Democratic strategy when I don’t see where Republicans have addressed ALL THE CHEATING that the Democrats did to “steal” the last election is I’m afraid going to cost the next election too! What’s changed?

Charles Williams
Charles Williams
11 months ago

Early voting just gives the left more time to manipulate the count.

Candy Luhrsen
Candy Luhrsen
11 months ago

How stupid can he be?? Voting early only tells the Democrats how many dead people they have to dig up. Vote on Election Day and only on Election Day. All the voting machines are hacked and hackable!

Lucinda
Lucinda
11 months ago

Voting early, IF your identity can be validated, AND the ballot verified that it is yours, would not be a problem. However, look at all the errors the government make in:
giving covid funds to fraudulent person(s)/companies
incorrect, excessive, or fraudulent medicaid/medicare payouts
drivers license &/or license plate renewal forms never received or tabs sent to wrong address (if sent?)
etc., etc., etc.
And we intend to trust the government to correctly tally votes? smh

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
11 months ago

If someone TRULY wants to vote, they can show up on election DAY; unless they are overseas or in the hospital!

Hope McCloud
Hope McCloud
11 months ago

Paper ballots must back up all voting methods so counts can be verified.

Timothy Blaney
Timothy Blaney
11 months ago

I recognize this discussion is about early voting, but if Dominion voting machines are used on voting day there is, in my opinion, a significant possibility of cheating through miscalculation.

JOE SIRACUSA
JOE SIRACUSA
11 months ago

PLEASE READ “CREATED EQUAL” BY DR. BEN CARSON. AN EXCELLENT HANDBOOK FOR ALL AGES . IF YOU WANT UNITY AND THE TRUTH, TRUMP & CARSON FOR 2024 DR CARSON WILL BE THE UNIFIER, AN THEY NEED TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE NOW. GOD BLESS

Morbious
Morbious
11 months ago

Hmmm. I cant help but wonder who’s counting the votes in crucial VA districts. Everyone knows the vast majority of VA counties are conservative and races are won or lost in the big districts around dc. If the demon party machine is in charge there its going to be an uphill battle.

SusanP
SusanP
11 months ago

Many things have happened to make our election system a joke. We need to go back to verifying before election day. No more Motor-Voter BS. To register to vote one should have to provide proof of name, citizenship and age. Then, a photo ID must be presented at the polls and the signature must match the one on the registration. Also, every election office in every jurisdiction MUST keep their voter rolls current. This means removing the dead and the moved away as soon as that person is no longer eligible to vote in that precinct. If a person cannot be bothered to register to vote, do you really want them to vote? They don’t care a bit about politics and what damage elected officials do when given too much power.
Yes, it is a right to vote. But, it is also a privilege. If one doesn’t care enough to pay attention, they won’t make good decisions about who to vote for.

SusanP
SusanP
11 months ago

In my opinion, Secure the Vote will result in giving the democrats more ways to cheat. Conservatives didn’t show up for early voting because they do NOT believe it is safe or fair. Up until election day, people are still learning things about the candidates that they didn’t know early on. Early voting only works if it is In Person and restricted to not more than 2 weeks prior to Election Day. Also, there should be no computer tech anywhere near voting or counting of votes. There is far too much danger of tampering with the count. Mail in ballots must be restricted to only those registered voters who request with a valid reason they cannot be present on Election Day and any ballot not in the hands of the counters on Election day will not be counted. The public deserves to know the final count no later than the day after the Election.

Elena Tellez
Elena Tellez
11 months ago

Youngkin’s ideas are good ones. I’m all for ‘early voting’ and validated ‘voting by mail’ for people who are elderly / disabled. We need to know the results of elections by midnight on Election Day though. It’s wrong to have to wait many days/weeks afterward. The main thing is to verify voters are LEGAL US citizens… and ferret out any ;ballot box stuffing,’ machine or other cheating. This is America… or at least is used to be… and we need to guarantee election integrity.

Hdrydr
Hdrydr
11 months ago

No mail-in, no early voting. One day one vote and have your ID ready. Enough of this crap already. And screw the cheating voting machines. Hand count the ballots so the leftist maggots have less of a chance to cheat.

Joanne 4 justice
Joanne 4 justice
11 months ago

One more issue to worry about. This concept is absolutely a huge potential nightmare. USA does not need another skewed illegal presidential election to add to the fiasco that occurred in 2020!!!!

Myrna
Myrna
11 months ago

Every time I hear the complaint “don’t look back. Address the future.” I suspect if we don’t know history, we will not be able to improve the future. I am from Alaska. We have a senator who is surprised to find out that so many constituents think the 2020 election was foul. She can only be surprised because she has a completely different point of view. Many Alaskans are determined not to let the Covid election determine our future.

Inquirer
Inquirer
11 months ago

The greatest threat to legitimate choice for American voters is the biggest Democrat Voter Registration Drive in history, i.e. the open borders fiasco — a long-term attempt to concert the USA into a one-party socialist state.

Ann S
Ann S
11 months ago

One day voting in person with proper ID.
Counting ballots with certified counters from both parties. Open to certified inspectors from both sides. No ballot harvesting and no voting machines. No shutting down of voting or shuttering counting rooms. Have enough certified counters to work through the night if necessary. Publish all votes per precinct in newspapers. This was done in the past. Now it barely gives reports per city. In many cases not even statewide results. That will keep better oversight of fraude.
Lets not invent another fraud machine. Make presidential elections a holiday. Narrow reason for absentee voting.
Use SS numbers as part of ID requirements. Assign a voting # to each voter. And signature requirement before voting.

Lets not go backward just more stringent guidelines to vote. The dems has ruined fair and legal voting with their fraudulent methods the last 3 presidential election. They have to be stopped.

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