RNC Chair Votes By Mail, Sued California To Stop Vote By Mail
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Rona McDaniel joins the ranks of Republicans who are fighting to expand voting by mail amid the pandemic but have used mail-in ballots themselves on multiple occasions.
Salon’s Igor Derysh reported Friday that McDaniel “frequently voted by mail before leading a lawsuit against California over the state's mail voting expansion, according to voting records.”
On Sunday, McDaniel announced that the RNC, together with the National Republican Congressional Committee and the California Republican Party, had sued California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) after he said all of the state’s voters would receive mail-in ballots ahead of upcoming elections.
McDaniel called the move an “illegal power grab” and “a recipe for disaster that would destroy the confidence Californians deserve to have in the security of their vote.”
But McDaniel’s cries of disaster fail to include the fact that she has voted by absentee ballot in Michigan’s elections for years, Derysh noted.
Lonnie Scott, the executive director of Progress Michigan, said: "Voting by mail is safe and secure, and Ronna Romney McDaniel knows that because she's used the process herself several times over the years. The fact she and the Republican Party infrastructure are suing California to try and stop them from keeping their electorate healthy and safe using mail-in voting is rank with hypocrisy."
The RNC and some Republicans have disputed that they oppose all absentee voting and instead insist that is widespread mail-in voting that would result in rampant fraud.
"We do not oppose lawful absentee voting. What we oppose are Democrats' demands to automatically mail millions of ballots to voters while simultaneously suing to eliminate safeguards like ballot signature verification and state bans on ballot harvesting," RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens told Salon. "Only five states have all-mail elections, and none of them send ballots to inactive voters like Newsom's executive order would have initially ordered. Those states are actually warning that it took them years, not mere months, to make that transition. Americans want confidence in their elections, but Democrats' proposals would actually undermine it."
Along with McDaniel, other prominent Republicans who have often voted absentee include:
President Donald Trump, who has voted by mail even when he was able to vote in person;
First Lady Melania Trump;
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who has voted by mail in Florida elections 11 times in the past decade;
And Vice President Mike Pence, who according to The Independent ignited some controversy in 2018 as “he listed the governor's residence in Indiana as his primary residence—even though he is no longer governor.”