VA Gov. Glenn Youngkin urges Republicans to embrace early voting

 September 2, 2023

Despite historical resistance within the party to the concept of early and extended voting, some prominent Republicans – including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin – are now urging fellow members to take a more positive view of the concept in order to remain competitive in future election cycles, as Breitbart reports.

The governor's remarks on the subject came during a Wednesday appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox Business.

Host Maria Bartiromo pointed out that Youngkin is among those advising Republicans to change their attitude toward early voting, and she inquired about the “Secure Your Vote Initiative” designed to facilitate such a shift.

Outlining the reason for his interest in the topic, Youngkin stated, “Well we have, we have our midterms this year huge elections entire House entire Senate up,” adding his belief that the contests in his state may well represent the most significant in the entire nation.

The governor went on, suggesting that Republicans “can demonstrate in 24 short months that a state with completely controlled by liberal left can in fact change direction, with our statewide sweep back in 2021.”

Maintaining that momentum in November, Youngkin claimed, requires “getting Republicans off the sidelines, making a plan to vote early.”

Speaking directly to voters in his state, Youngkin said, “Make a plan to vote early, either through absentee ballot, or just going to the polls early. We've got to make sure every vote counts. I'm tired of watching elections where we as Republicans are down thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of votes on Election Day. We can do this better.”

Youngkin is by no means the only GOP leader emphasizing a newfound appreciation for early voting, with the Republican National Committee earlier this summer having launched an initiative meant to “maximize” voting prior to Election Day, as NBC News reported.

The program, called “Bank Your Vote,” is designed to encourage and educate Republican voters on how they can make their voices heard “through early in-person voting, absentee voting and ballot harvesting where legal,” suggestions that would have been anathema to many in the party just a few short years ago.

Seen as a response to disappointing results in the 2022 midterm contests, Republican leadership has made a determined effort to bolster early voting numbers by pointing to the notable advantage seized by Democrats who went to great lengths to get the most out of early and mail-in voting methods in hotly contested jurisdictions.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) explained, “We've got to have a change of culture among Republican voters. And it's going to require us all on the same page.”

In support of that culture change, the Republican National Committee (RNC) indicated its plan to go “all in” on the “Bank Your Vote” concept last month, just ahead of the initial GOP presidential primary debate.

The RNC orchestrated an advertising blitz that included a 30-second spot that was slated to air during debate live-streaming, and which featured a number of high-profile Republicans including committee chair Ronna McDaniel touting the need for voters to cast ballots early as part of the 2024 cycle. “When Republicans vote early, we win,” McDaniel declared.

Even current GOP primary frontrunner Donald Trump – a longtime critic of early and mail-in voting processes – seems to have had a change of heart about the wisdom and propriety of employing such methods, appearing in the RNC's ad as well as releasing a supportive video of his own, in what some might characterized as an “if you can't beat 'em, join 'em” approach to 2024.