Unilateral disarmament has never been an effective winning strategy.
Conservatives are duty-bound to learn how to successfully execute a mail-in vote effort; otherwise, we risk losing races—no matter how effective our election-day strategy is.
This past election day was yet another election where registered Democrat mail-in votes outpaced registered Republican votes by a lot—over 500,000 before the polls even opened. This was in large part because Republicans have de-emphasized or even discouraged mail-in voting.
First, let’s be clear: This does not mean that we should give up on our necessary efforts to reform and improve our election laws, including how mail-in voting takes place. As my grandparents used to say, we have to be able to “walk and chew gum” at the same time.
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We should forcefully support State Representative Seth Grove’s efforts to pass HB 1800, which would fix Act 77 so that we have clear, consistent, common-sense, and transparent rules for voting and counting votes. This includes voter ID for all voters so that Pennsylvanians can have faith in our elections.
Our election laws should have three goals: Easy to vote. Impossible to cheat. Results we can trust.
However, we now have several elections that have shown us that the disparity between mail-in votes (with up to a 5–1 Democrat to Republican advantage) and election-day votes (overwhelmingly Republican) is so large that Republican candidates can lose even when ahead by 8 points on election day in some communities. Even in some statewide campaigns where we have won, some have been too close for comfort.
We must also use modern technology and the experiences of our elections in 2020 and 2021–including Governor-elect Youngkin’s campaign in Virginia—to make sure that our 2022 campaign plans include a vigorous mail-in vote effort. While many of us (like me) look forward to voting in person at the polls, we must acknowledge that some people who support our platform and our candidates would prefer to vote by mail. Without a doubt, we would benefit by having more votes “in the bank” before the polls open.
Our party has been very good at organizing absentee-ballot campaigns and has become very good at executing our election-weekend “72-hour” programs. We now have an ever-growing number of new volunteers—look at how many ran for and supported GOP school board candidates across Pennsylvania.
The time is now. We must bring all these assets together—and learn from our allies in Virginia—to become even better than the Left at election strategies and tactics.
We must bring all these assets together–and learn from our allies in Virginia–to become even better than the Left at election strategies and tactics.
The issues in front of us are too important to risk losing elections because we are “unilaterally disarming.” They include restoring our liberty; growing our economy; unleashing our potential of natural gas to revive our economy and lower energy costs for 100 years; restoring and protecting the rights of parents; providing school choice so that every child has the opportunity to succeed; and restoring the rule of law—especially in our cities.
We are right on the issues that matter most. We have momentum and energy on our side. Let’s support efforts to fix our broken election system, but let’s also commit to learning new tactics and methods at getting out the vote—and being better at it than our opponents.
We are duty-bound to use every election tool at our disposal. No more election days where we allow the Democrats to be ahead by hundreds of thousands of votes. After all, if you raced in a 100-yard dash, you wouldn’t let your opponent start 40 yards ahead. Our liberty is in the balance, and opportunity is knocking at the door. As the late Margaret Thatcher would often say: “Don’t Hope for a better future, Vote for one.”
Guy Ciarrocchi, a Republican candidate for governor, is former CEO of the Chester County Chamber and was the manager of the President Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004. He can be contacted at GUYforGOV.com.