Log in Subscribe

Trump touts ‘Swamp the Vote USA'

RNC plan to rally behind vote-by-mail efforts


Former President Donald Trump announced the launch of Swamp the Vote USA on Tuesday, the latest attempt by the Republican National Committee to rally supporters behind voting early and by mail in the 2024 election.

“Republicans must win, and we will use every appropriate tool to beat the Democrats because they are destroying our country,” Trump said in a press release and accompanying video announcing the kick-off of the plan.

“Whether you vote absentee, by mail, early in-person, or on election day, we are going to protect the vote. We make sure your ballot is secure and your voice is heard. We must swamp the radical Democrats with massive turnout. The way to win is to swamp them, if we swamp them with votes they can’t cheat. You need to make a plan, register, and vote any way possible. We have got to get your vote.”

Swamp the Vote USA succeeds the Republican National Committee’s “Bank Your Vote” program that former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel announced to great fanfare a year ago, which was to be led by Southwest Florida Republican Congressman Byron Donalds. (The Phoenix reached out to Donalds’ office to inquire whether he would lead Swamp the Vote but did not receive an immediate response).

Republicans who denounced vote-by-mail efforts when used by states in the 2020 election have sometimes failed to get the message that the national party now supports such efforts, beginning with the former president.

“Mail in-ballots are a disaster,” Trump said during the Republican Party of Florida’s Freedom Summit in Kissimmee last November. “California sends out 36 mail-ballots. They go all over the place. Some people get six. Some people get eight.”

Trump went on to say in that speech that former President Jimmy Carter had at one point expressed security concerns about mail ballots, referring to a 2005 report by an organization co-chaired by Carter and James Baker, George H.W. Bush’s former Secretary of State. The Carter-Baker report said that absentee voting was vulnerable in several ways, according to a  PolitiFact analysis. (In 2020, Carter publicly expressed his support for absentee ballot in a statement).

And Republicans continue to fight in the courts against expanding vote-by-mail efforts.

An appellate court in New York state last month rejected a lawsuit filed on behalf of the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and several other GOP groups challenging the New York Early Mail Voter Act, the Empire State’s new mail-in voting law. The law allows voters to cast mail-in ballots without an excuse during a nine-day early voting period, but the lawsuit claims the law violates the New York Constitution.

‘Trump Force 47’

According to the press release, Swamp the Vote USA is a project of “Trump Force 47,” the RNC’s sponsored neighbor-to-neighbor grassroots organizing program that focuses on mobilizing highly targeted voters in critical precincts across the battleground states and districts.

The Republican Party of Florida, unlike many of its counterparts around the country, embraced the concept of vote-by-mail early on after the 2000 election cycle.

“We previously launched our All-Republicans Vote initiative, which is the Florida GOP get-out-the-vote program,” Chairman Evan Power said Tuesday. “We are working hand in hand with the RNC and appreciate this updated effort and increased resources to make sure we turn out every single voter possible.”

While Florida Republicans push for their supporter to vote by mail, GOP lawmakers in Tallahassee have worked to make it harder to do so. An election reform bill passed in 2021 (SB 90) now requires voters to request vote-by-mail ballots for each two-year election cycle, rather than every four years, as was previously the case.

The result? The number of voters who have requested mail-in-ballots has dropped more than 50% since the 2022 midterm elections, Politico reported last week, with more than 2 million voters requesting a VBM ballot so far, vs. 4.3 million in 2022.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor for questions: info@floridaphoenix.com. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.