Throughout the 2020 election cycle and beyond, former President Donald Trump frequently railed against the dangers to election integrity of pre-Election Day voting in all of its forms, including absentee mail-in ballots, in-person early voting, and the practice of ballot harvesting to collect and submit early ballots on behalf of other voters.
Now, in a complete reversal, Trump has endorsed and voiced his support for a Republican National Committee-launched effort to convince GOP voters to do all of those things in advance of the 2024 election, Breitbart reported.
The RNC program, known as "Bank Your Vote," in addition to the backing from Trump, will also feature participation from other major Republican organizations like the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), as well as state-level party-affiliated groups.
In a video released by the RNC, former President Trump said, "Radical Democrats have abused and taken advantage of absentee and early voting laws to build a big lead over Republicans before election day. While Republicans have worked to share our beautiful values with voters, Democrats and dangerous groups funded by the far left have simply focused on collecting ballots.
"That’s all they wanted to do -- collecting ballots. But you know what? It turned out to be not such a bad idea," he continued. "This must change for us to win in 2024. We may not like the current system, but we need to master the rules and beat the Democrats at their own game, and then we can make our own rules."
"Republicans must get tougher and fight harder to cast our votes and get our ballots turned in earlier so Democrats can’t rig the polls against us on election day. We cannot let that happen," Trump declared. "They rigged the election in 2020 -- we cannot let that happen in 2024."
The former president went on to praise the RNC for "leading the fight to help secure your vote in 2024 as well," and asserted that the organization was "fighting bad Democrat laws, putting folks on the ground to serve as poll workers and poll watchers, and engaging attorneys to monitor every step of the process."
"Go to BankYourVote.com to sign up and commit to voting early," Trump added. "We must defeat the far left at their own game or our country will never recover from this disastrous, crooked Biden administration."
Breitbart noted that the RNC actually launched the "Bank Your Vote" campaign in early June via a press release that included statements from RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel as well as from Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) and Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who were tasked with leading the effort on behalf of the NRCC and NRSC, respectively.
Per the release, the Bank Your Vote campaign will "encourage, educate, and activate Republican voters on when, where, and how to lock in their votes as early as possible, through in-person early voting, absentee voting, and ballot harvesting where legal" -- even as the RNC continues to fight through courts and state legislatures to limit or completely abolish those very same electoral practices Trump previously sharply criticized.
"To beat Joe Biden and the Democrats in 2024, we must ensure that Republicans bank as many pre-Election Day votes as possible," McDaniel said. "The RNC is proud to build on our historic efforts from last cycle and work with the entire Republican ecosystem to reach every state. Banking votes early needs to be the focus of every single Republican campaign in the country, and the Republican National Committee will lead the charge."
Rep. Donalds said, "I am proud to co-chair the RNC’s efforts to activate Republicans to ‘Bank Your Vote’ before Election Day. With innovative technology to educate voters and safeguards in place to secure the process, Republicans are prepared to win up-and-down the ballot in 2024."
A similar statement came from Sen. Hagerty, who said, "To take back the White House and Senate and strengthen our House majority in 2024, Republicans must play the game by today’s rules, which means maximizing our efforts to bank votes before Election Day."
"We cannot afford to sacrifice most of the opportunities to bank votes in key states while Democrats run up the score. Encouraging Republicans to securely ‘Bank Your Vote’ is the only way to protect the vote and reclaim our out-of-control government," the senator added. "I’m pleased to work with leaders across the Republican Party, from the Senate to the House, our Governors, and the RNC on this important effort to deliver victories nationwide next November."