It's probably too much to hope for that Republicans will continue shooting themselves in the foot on absentee balloting all the way through the general election. Sure, Donald Trump can shout lunatic shit on Twitter about FRAUD and CHEATING and DEMS STEALING ELECTIONS via mail-in ballots. But will his lemming followers jump off the low turnout cliff with him?

So far the answer appears to be yes. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Republicans made up just 29 percent of mail-in ballot requests for next week's primary, despite constituting 38 of registered voters in Pennsylvania. In this crucial swing state, which just adopted "no excuse" (i.e., no explanation needed) mail-in balloting, there were approximately 524,000 GOP requests, compared to 1.3 million for Democrats.

Indeed, some of those 524,000 voters may choose to go to the polls anyway during a pandemic, in deference to the Dear Leader. Lee Snover, chairwoman of the Northampton County GOP, reports that "more than one person" has told her that "Trump doesn't want us mailing in, [so] I'm not mailing it in."

Go with God, kids!

"I must tell you that locally, in my county, we're not advocating and we're not pushing the mail-in voting," Snover told the Inquirer, adding later, "I think that we need to inspire Americans to get out and go to the polls. Sign in, identify yourself, and vote."

Just get in line at your local polling station, grab that pen that was used by 100 other people in the past two hours, sign in, rub your hands all over that grubby touch screen, and do your civic duty. Hell, why doncha stop by Sheetz and grab a kruller from the glass case on your way home — you deserve it! Sure 71 people got coronavirus after the Wisconsin GOP forced in-person voting in April. And yes, it's true that Pennsylvania's per capita infection rate is double that of Wisconsin. But if Donald Trump says yinz gotta do it, then yinz gotta do it.

The sentiment was shared by Facebook followers of Washington County Republican Chair Mark Hrutkay, who filled his feed up with nasty comments when he reminded supporters of the upcoming deadline to register.

"I had one woman, using a lot of four-letter words, tell me 'didn't you know Trump hates mail-in balloting,'" he told Reuters.

"I think voters largely, at least on the Republican side, want to vote in person," Lance Stange, chairman of the Lackawanna County GOP, told the Inquirer. "I think that that is part of the motivating factor."

Meanwhile behind the scenes, the GOP appears to be hedging its bets. Donald Trump and his minions can scream ABSENTEE BALLOTS FOR ME, BUT NOT FOR THEE, but his campaign is still sending out emails reminding voters of the absentee ballot deadline and sending a link to apply. They're certainly not going to swear off one of the most effective GOTV measures, one which locks in the voter days before the election, just because the old man is suffering some kind of delusion about rampant mail fraud. Particularly after they just flipped a House seat in California largely on the strength of absentee ballots. The Inquirer notes that Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican in a newly competitive redrawn district, has also posted ads to Facebook urging his followers to register to vote by mail.

Once again, Trump is forcing his followers to straddle the line between the insane shit that he vomits out — encouraging his voters to head to the polls in a pandemic and avoid mail-in ballots — and the reality that taking his advice will put them at a massive electoral disadvantage as mail-in votes become standard operating procedure. You hate to see it!

Let your freak flag fly, MAGAts! Trigger them libs by refusing to vote from the safety and comfort of your own living rooms. The president demands nothing less.

[The Philadelphia Inquirer / Reuters]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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