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GOP national leaders to Nevada Republicans: ‘Vote early, vote by mail’

Updated September 14, 2023 - 9:46 am

GOP leaders are encouraging Nevada Republicans to vote early, vote by mail and vote in person in 2024 — contradicting the party’s past messaging.

The Republican National Committee announced Wednesday it is partnering with the Nevada Republican Party to launch the “Bank Your Vote” initiative in Nevada, part of a national campaign to push Republican voters to vote early, in person and by mail.

“Many Republicans in Nevada and nationally prefer to vote in person or on Election Day,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “And we get that, but the fact of the matter is, if we don’t vote early we’re giving the Democrats a huge head start.”

During a press call Wednesday announcing the launch, McDaniel compared the strategy to a football game: Rather than waiting until the fourth quarter, they need to start scoring in the first minute of the game.

Another part of the Republican strategy in 2024 will be to use data and modeling to go after independent voters — who now make up the largest voting bloc in Nevada.

Since 2020, many Republican candidates have repeatedly pushed false and unproven claims of election fraud. Ahead of the 2022 midterms, candidates denounced mail ballots and advocated for measures such as repealing Nevada’s universal mail-in voting, getting rid of same-day voter registration and doing away with early voting days.

Republicans saw a lead as polls closed on Election Day, but as the state counted the more than 500,000 mail ballots, Democratic candidates pulled ahead. Only three Republicans won a statewide office, and all Democratic incumbents for federal office won their re-elections.

Since then, Republicans, both nationally and in Nevada, have said the war on voting by mail was a strategic failure. Candidates who took a strong position on denying the election also did not do well, political science experts in Nevada concluded.

Delivering a Republican victory

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., who is part of the state leadership team for the Bank Your Vote Nevada initiative, said weather impacted people’s abilities to vote on Election Day.

By emphasizing voting early and with mail ballots, winning more seats is doable, he said.

Gov. Joe Lombardo also said changing Republicans’ mindset about voting is key, and he said that’s what this initiative will do.

“We have 2024 to build on our wins from the past year,” Lombardo said. “In 2024, we have to remain focused on educating and activating Republican voters on how to bank their vote for Election Day. If we can do that, we’ll deliver a Republican victory next November.”

The strategy, however, sharply contrasts with what the Nevada Republican Party has, and continues, to preach.

The Nevada GOP is holding its own presidential caucus in February 2024 — despite the state running a presidential preference primary for both parties. The party’s caucus will not allow for voting early or voting by mail, Nevada Republican Party chair Michael McDonald previously told the Review-Journal.

Caucus participants must show their ID and must appear in person to vote. That way the party can ensure the caucus is secure and transparent, he said.

When asked if the Nevada GOP’s caucus plans conflict with the RNC’s messaging, McDonald said people want voter ID and want to know their vote is secure.

Caucus participants must also show their ID and must appear in person to vote. That way the party can ensure the caucus is secure and transparent, he said.

When asked if the Nevada GOP’s caucus plans conflict with the RNC’s messaging, McDonald said people want voter ID and want to know their vote is secure.

“We intend to have a very secure open caucus and make sure everybody has the opportunity to vote,” said McDonald, who was one of Nevada’s six Republican electors who submitted fake certificates declaring former President Donald Trump the winner of the Silver State in 2020.

McDaniel said she doesn’t love the way Nevada elections are run, such as the automatic mail ballot system and the ability for people to drop off completed ballots for others, but “when it comes to the rules that are on the playing field, we have to use them the way Democrats do, even if we don’t like them.”

A previous version of this story misidentified the source of several comments. Quotes attributed to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel were from Nevada Republican Party chair Michael McDonald.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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