Republicans know that the majority of young voters don’t support them. So rather than appeal to the next generation, the GOP has decided the best course of action is to make it harder for young people to vote.
Top Republican strategist Cleta Mitchell gave a presentation at the RNC donor retreat over the weekend that was ironically titled “A Level Playing Field for 2024,” journalist Lauren Windsor reported. Mitchell worked with former President Donald Trump to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and has continued to work closely with the Republican Party since Trump left office.
Leaked audio recordings of her presentation reveal Mitchell called on the GOP to limit voting on college campuses, same-day voter registration, and automatic mailing of ballots to registered voters. Both young voters and mail-in votes tend to skew Democratic.
“What is this young people effort that they do? They basically put the polling place next to the student dorm so they just have to roll out of bed, vote, and go back to bed,” Mitchell complained.
At one point in her presentation text, Mitchell insisted that her organization, the Election Integrity Network, is “NOT about winning campaigns.” But her presentation gave no other explanation for why campus and mail-in voting should be restricted, and she also said the U.S. electoral systems must be saved “for any candidate other than a leftist to have a chance to WIN in 2024.”
Republicans are starting to see the writing on the wall, but they’re taking away the wrong message. During the 2022 midterms, young voters turned out in record numbers and overwhelmingly voted Democratic. The GOP response was to call to raise the voting age.
Rather than implementing policies about things that young people actually care about—such as environmental protection, increased abortion access, and LGBTQ rights—Republicans are instead embracing stances that alienate huge swathes of the new generations of voters. And then they get upset when young people don’t support them.
It’s easy to poke fun at the GOP over this, but it’s important to keep in mind that Mitchell’s plan is terrifying. It’s a blatant violation of voter rights. The Republican Party has not formally backed her plan, but they haven’t denounced it either.
The nonprofit Gen-Z for Change slammed Mitchell’s plan as “disgusting.”
“Republicans are actively trying to suppress our ability to participate in democracy, to make changes in the world that WE have to live in,” the group tweeted.