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After blaming his 2020 defeat on mail-in voting, Trump tries to make GOP voters believe everything is okay now – Orange County Register

By NICHOLAS RICCARDI and MARGERY BECK (Associated Press)

Marta Moehring voted how she prefers in Nebraska’s Republican primary Tuesday — in person, at her polling place west of Omaha.

She didn’t even consider taking advantage of the state’s no-excuse absentee voting process. In fact, she would prefer to eliminate mail-in voting altogether. She is convinced that fraudulent ballots cost former President Donald Trump a second term in 2020.

“I don’t trust it in general,” Moehring, 62, said. “I don’t think they’re counted correctly.”

But now Republican officials — and sometimes even Trump — are encouraging voters like Moehring to vote by mail. The Republican Party has launched an effort to, in the words of one official, “correct the narrative” about mail-in voting and get those who were put off it by Trump to reconsider ahead of this year’s election.

The move is a striking shift for a party that amplified dark rumors about mail-in voting to explain Trump’s 2020 defeat, but it is also seen as a necessary course correction for an election this year that will likely be decided by very thin margins. a handful of swing states.

“We need to start using these mail-in ballots for people who can’t get there on Election Day,” said Rep. Scott Perry, one of Trump’s staunchest allies in Congress in his efforts to overturn the 2020 elections, during a press conference. conservative rally in his home state of Pennsylvania.

It used to be that Republicans were at least as likely as Democrats to vote by mail, but Trump changed the dynamic in 2020. He began preemptively claiming that mail-in voting was bad months before voting began in the presidential race.

This alarmed Republican strategists who saw mail voting as an advantage in campaigns because it allows them to “store” unreliable votes before Election Day and reduces the risk of turnout falling due to bad weather. or other unpredictable factors during elections. Trump’s own campaign tried to convince Republicans to vote by mail, but his voters listened to the then-president. In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats were much more likely to vote by mail than Republicans.

The trend has continued into 2022 and its costs have been clearly illustrated in Arizona.

Three high-end Republican candidates who echoed Trump’s lies about the unreliability of mail-in ballots have encouraged their supporters to vote in person on Election Day. That day, a meltdown of the voting machine at a third of polling places in the state’s most populous county led to huge lines and the departure of some frustrated would-be voters.

The top three Republicans all lost, including 17,000 fewer votes in the governor’s race and 500 fewer votes in the attorney general’s race.

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