State GOP Party Chairman Says Republicans Playing Catch-Up on Mail-in Voting

From Republican State Party Chairman Don Tracy:

I am writing to you to talk about the elephant in the room, Vote By Mail.

Each election cycle, we see that the general public is choosing to vote by mail in increasing numbers.

This phenomenon is consistent across all types of voters, as the chart below illustrates.

And of course, Democrats utilize Vote By Mail at a much higher rate than Republicans.

Democrats have won many close elections on the strength of their Vote By Mail programs.

Quite simply, Republicans will have an uphill battle in every election moving forward if we do not start utilizing Vote By Mail to our advantage — especially now that Illinois authorizes permanent Vote By Mail lists, which will disproportionately impact the results of our municipal elections, especially our local school boards.

We are acutely aware of problems with the Vote By Mail process.

However, the harsh reality is that until we have the numbers in the legislature to change it, we have to play to win under the existing rules and we must increase Republican voter turnout by greater use of Vote By Mail.

Oh, for the days of paper ballots.

In contrast to our genuine concerns about how certain aspects of voting by mail undermine fair and honest elections, there is relatively little increased risk of fraudulent abuse of your ballot when you vote by mail as opposed to voting in person. In a sense, voting by mail can actually decrease the possibility of a bad actor voting your ballot for you.Even for voters who prefer not to vote by mail, participating in the Vote By Mail process has advantages.

Our partners at the Illinois Conservative Union speak about a “claim your name, secure your vote” strategy to Vote By Mail voting that was used with success in Virginia in 2021, and their viewpoint bears repeating here.

First, we encourage our voters to request a Vote By Mail ballot as early in the process as possible.

Once that ballot arrives, the voter has “claimed their name, and secured their vote.”

With that ballot in hand, there is no possibility that anyone else can cast that ballot, or request a ballot in that voter’s name.

At this point, if that voter wants to cast a ballot by mail, he or she may obviously do so.

However, if that voter wants to vote in person – whether through Early Voting or on Election Day – that voter simply takes the Vote By Mail ballot with them to their polling place, and surrenders it to the election judges.

We’d want our voters to be sure to watch the election judge write “SPOILED” on the Vote By Mail ballot and secure it in a “Spoiled Ballot” envelope.

After this, the voter may proceed to vote in-person at the polling place.The wisdom of this approach is that it provides our voters with flexibility.

Under this approach, if something comes up at the last minute, and a voter cannot vote in person, they can still vote using a Vote By Mail ballot.

An executed Vote By Mail ballot can be delivered using the mail, in-person OR by a trusted friend or family member, using the affidavit on the Vote By Mail envelope.

Whether it is in-person voting or voting by mail, we can protect our vote by claiming our name and ensuring that our ballot is cast. Whether you are a fan of voting by mail or not, it is the law of the land in Illinois. Until we elect enough Republicans to change it, we must use this system to the greatest extent possible so that we can do just that: elect more Republicans.


State GOP Party Chairman Says Republicans Playing Catch-Up on Mail-in Voting — 9 Comments

  1. “In contrast to our genuine concerns about how certain aspects of voting by mail undermine fair and honest elections, there is relatively little increased risk of fraudulent abuse of your ballot when you vote by mail as opposed to voting in person.”

    Man bites dog.

  2. As previously shared on McHenry County Blog, State Republican Chairman Don Tracy held a “summit” last month with McHenry County Republican Chairman Jeff Thorsen & his peers from the collar counties.

    Due to space, Chairman Tracy has yet to address all that was covered and this month’s virtual state central committee meeting may reveal more.

    This should be included:

    Illinois Republicans must begin to adapt, to the extent Illinois law will allow, to Ballot Harvesting of mail-in ballots.

    Republican grassroots activist Scott Presler has published all of the states’ respective vote-by-mail collection of ballots laws, and to what extent ballots can be harvested under the law of each state.

    Presler has more information in his Early Vote Action grassroots organization he’s piloting in Wisconsin to ensure a conservative win to maintain a conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the April 4 election just across border from McHenry County.

    Like it or not, vote-by-mail is here to stay, as Chairman Tracy rightfully said.

    Don’t be surprised within next 10 years, Illinois Democrats will convert Illinois’ elections to all-by-mail with in-person options similar to early voting.

    Think of it. No more precinct polling places, no more need for precinct committeepersons.

    One never knows, ranked-choice voting could be coming, too, in spite of two ranked-choice voting bills not advancing from committee in Springfield by Friday’s deadline.

    The new normal is definitely being defined by the Democrats.

  3. Well said J. L.

    Permanent mail in voting gives such a advantage to identify and target voters.

    Democrats had so called poll watchers in voting locations marking down names of in person voters.

    They would then go outside to text those names to somewhere and mark those voters off a list of potential voters to pressure into voting. What a advantage!

    Richard and Elizabeth Uhlien should
    not waste their money giving it to dumbass Proft to print fake Newspapers and STUPID Shock ads.

    Use the Proft money to create a team of workers throughout the state of Illinois with a Game plan to sign up Conservative voters and the proper mobile technology to get this done.


  4. I counted 3 bills in the senate and 2 in the house.
    There are 2 by Laura Murphy in the senate. Looks like one is for all elections and one concerns the president. Then there’s a bill by Rachel Ventura that would be all.
    On the House side there’s one from Syed for all elections and the one from West that I was following that’s only about president.
    I haven’t read the whole things. I’m guessing Murphy and West’s bills are companion bills and Syed and Ventura’s bills are companions (they’re both progressives). There might be disagreements about whether to do all or just the president and disagreements in the all side too. Murphy all (Senate) Murphy president (Senate) Ventura all (Senate) Syed all (House) West president (House)

    sb1456 is presidential only and there’s a deadline on March 24.
    These bills are all going through one of the following.
    subcommittee on elections
    committee on assignments
    committee on rules

    I actually don’t think they will do RCV because RCV is usually passed by some weird centrist state and/or something proposed by the minority party or third parties. IL is a conventional old school big machine Democratic Party powerhouse state where one party has a huge advantage and has no trouble winning. Why would they want the possibility of independents getting elected or even moderate Dems? RCV favors centrist candidates that appeal to both sides. Do Dems have any interest in appealing to both sides in Illinois? Do they have any need to do that? No. So why would they do that?? They want to be able to shovel as much money into the primary and get their candidate elected and then just steamroll the Republican in those gerrymandered districts. You do RCV and now there are way more competitive seats. Why would either party who gets their carved out seats agree to that and why would especially the Dems agree to that? I’ll have to check the other bills but last I checked West’s bill (which was the only one I’d heard of until today) it had no cosponsors. I think this came about cuz Pritzker wants to rig the primary for himself and then they got caught looking like idiots so they put out more bills and probably the progs and the Pritzker people don’t agree and now all hell is breaking loose.

    I’ll have to do some more research on these individual bills. Doesn’t look like any of them have support from other people but if some committee approves it they could just be JB’s hacks and then it could go in front of the whole body. I am not all that familiar with the ins and outs of IL politics cuz it is boring. They do not listen. I’m at the point now where I just write vulgar letters to them. Witness slips is gay. Only other thing I could think of would be to track their visits as individuals and shame them, but some don’t do many events plus a lot of them live in Chicago which is far. Just bully them and call them names. IF everyone did that they would act differently. “umm sir i have a disagrement.” Nah. We are past that. We tried that. Time to start bullying people.

  5. PC’s would still be necessary but their role would change to making sure that their constituents send in their ballots.

    So it would be more work and most PC’s now do virtually nothing anyway.

    Ranked choice voting will end the two party system, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

    You could vote for your Libertarian, or Constitution, or Natural Law or whatever candidate first and then the major party candidate.

    This will elevate the status of what are now marginal spoiler parties and candidates.

    It would also allow for the emergence of a middle of the road, centrist type party like the Reform Party started out being before it was highjacked by Pat Buchanan and thereafter died.

    This is a good thing in my opinion.

    See this Monty Python scetch which I call “The Silly Party Scetch”

  6. Correcting, of all the ranked-choice voting (RCV) bills filed, only SB 1456 is still alive at this point of the spring session, and it’s assigned to a senate subcommittee. If not advanced to the Senate floor by March 24, it will join the other 4 bills and be dead in the spring session.

    The Senate Assignments Committee and the House Rules Committee are the “inboxes” for the respective chambers. In days of Speaker Madigan, House Rules Committee are where bills are sent to die.

    After Madigan, the Democrats have tried to move bills out of Rules and into the appropriate committee(s), but if a bill is not called by the committee chair in time (and in House that was last Friday), it’s dead.

    When I say “dead”, that does not rule out being included in a “shell bill” sometime in the legislative session, but on its own, a bill is dead if it’s not been moved to the House floor by now, or Senate floor by March 24.

    As to elections, I stand by my prediction at some point in not-too-distant future, all Illinois elections will be nearly all mail-in balloting, and the precinct polling place will go the way of the typewriter.

    If I could have my way, here is how I would adjust elections starting with the calendar:


    Each presidential election year, conduct a new “presidential primary election” to elect presidential delegates, alternate delegates (Republicans), state central committeepersons (Democrats), township/ward committeepersons (Cook County), established party county chairs (outside Cook County).

    No questions of public policy in a presidential primary. No elected precinct committeepersons and the “precinct captain” (or co-captains) can be appointed by the popularly elected County party chair (or in Cook County, continue to be appointed by township/ward committeepersons).

    All elected party positions will be for 4 year terms.


    With presidential primary in place, all nominations for Congress, all statewide offices, all state legislative and county offices can be nominated in a top-2 blanket primary with candidates identifying themselves with any political party they wish (this was proposed in SB 2363).

    Like California & Washington state, two primary winners could be from same political parties. In multi-member county board districts, multiply by 2 the number of primary winners, again regardless of party.

    This primary will be held in late May or by mid-June, making for shorter election cycle.


    First Tuesday after first Monday of November. Winner-take-all & only time a tax referendum can be presented to voters for passage.


    Consolidated election pushed back from 1st Tuesday in April to first Tuesday after 1st Monday in November.

    In township election years, no more caucus for party nominations (precinct committeepersons eliminated).

    Consolidated Primary Election pushed back from 4th Tuesday in February to Tuesday after Labor Day holiday in September.

    All candidates file for Consolidated Primary Election, and where applicable for municipalities & townships, under political party of choosing. Outside of Chicago, top-2 advance to November (and twice eligible for election advance for multi candidate election races).


    FWIW, knowing most elements suggested will never be approved.

  7. **only SB 1456 is still alive at this point of the spring session, and it’s assigned to a senate subcommittee.**

    Tell us you know nothing about the legislative process and how elections bills work in Springfield without telling us.

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