After a disappointing performance by Republicans in this month's midterm elections, some in the party are calling for refocused efforts on early and mail-in voting.
According to The Hill, Democrats far outpaced Republicans in pre-election day voting in important battleground states, which allowed Democrat candidates to rack up an advantage before Nov. 8. Republicans relied heavily on Election Day voter turnout to defeat Democrats.
"We have to reevaluate both the strategy and the tactics," Saul Anuzis, a Republican strategist and former Michigan GOP chair, told The Hill. "We had so many close races, but we didn't do a good job at early voting, we didn't do a lot of mail-in voting. We don't like that stuff so we don't really participate in it.
"I think there's a lot of tactical things that we have to take a look at."
Some Republicans say one of the biggest lessons learned from the midterm elections is that the GOP should embrace expanded access to voting instead of fighting it.
"You can b***h about the game as much as you want, but you got to find a way to play the game, because the game's not going to change right now," Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist and former congressional candidate, told The Hill.
In Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Nevada — states with competitive races — Democrats made up a larger share of the pre-Election Day vote than they did in 2018 and 2020, which helped secure victories in key Senate races.
Some Republicans who were critical of pre-Election Day voting have started to consider it.
Last week, conservative commentator Charlie Kirk said that "one of the first lessons we have to take from the midterms is the power of early voting."
"Telling everyone to vote in-person on [Election Day] opens you to traffic jams and machine malfunctions," he tweeted. "If and when that happens, there's no rewinding time to change your strategy. You're at the mercy of the courts and voters' own schedules."
Former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley said the GOP's strategy on early and absentee voting is not working and said it was time for Republicans to "play the same game" as Democrats.
"We were completely outplayed electorally," Haley said during a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition's national leadership meeting in Las Vegas. "The Democrats did a full-court press to vote early. We sat on our hands. Early and absentee voting are here to stay. We need to play the same game and turn out the maximum number of voters. The left does it, and we don't."
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