• Trump claims vote-by-mail is "corrupt" and that it will hurt the GOP
  • There is little to no data to support either assertion
  • Republican governors, secretaries of state have moved to expand vote-by-mail

President Donald Trump has attacked vote-by-mail as “corrupt” and “a terrible thing,” but prominent Republicans in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire and Iowa have come out in support of vote-by-mail.

In Pennsylvania, the Republican National Committee has been sending mail-in ballot applications encouraging GOP voters to fill them out and return them to their county elections office, the Pittsburgh City Paper reported.

Republican Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that the state would mail absentee ballot request forms to seven million voters “in an effort to allow as many Georgia voters as possible to exercise their right to vote without leaving their homes.”

Republican Governor of Ohio Mike DeWine defended vote-by-mail in the face of Trump’s attack on it, and their Republican Secretary of State Mike LaRose has created a way for Ohioans to register for an absentee ballot right on the state government’s website.

In New Hampshire, Republican Governor Chris Sununu has backed a major expansion of vote-by-mail in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Nebraska Republican Governor Pete Ricketts has done so too. Just like in Ohio, Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State has set up an easy resource on the state’s website to apply for an absentee ballot.

Currently, there are five states who conduct all elections entirely by mail: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington. All five states experience higher than normal turnout for elections, while Colorado just recorded the highest turnout in the history of its presidential primaries this year. The data on this all points in the same direction: vote-by-mail increases voter turnout.

Additionally, both Trump and some political allies like Thomas Massie, R-KY, assert that voting by mail favors Democrats, but studies show that is not the case and it is hard to see how either party has a competitive advantage when allowing everyone to vote from home. The move by a wide array of Republicans to expand vote-by-mail in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic is further proof of this notion, and buttresses the case of vote-by-mail supporters that it actually increases participation in democracy.