Reince Priebus Voted Absentee 20 Times
Yet he has now flip flopped, expressing concern about absentee voting.
Exhaustive studies in Wisconsin and other states show that mail voting increases electoral turnout with minimal risk of fraud or abuse. Yet Republicans like Scott Walker and Reince Priebus, each with robust histories of absentee voting, now oppose it in the name of “election integrity.” Their real concern seems to be that absentee ballots will increase Democratic Party votes at the expense of Republican.
“I voted on Election Day this past Tuesday in person and would gladly do it in the future,” the former Wisconsin governor told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters Mary Spicuzza and Dan Bice on Saturday. Last March, Walker encouraged absentee voting in a tweet. Walker had voted absentee in numerous elections from 2015, the paper reported, including six of the last eight elections.
But last Saturday he tweeted a different tune, demanding a drastic restriction in early voting.
Walker’s pronouncements ignore the absence of early voting fraud, or that mailed ballots, by their very definition, are “paper ballots, like the rest of the world.” In fact, Wisconsin’s absentee ballots are identical in every respect with the paper ballots electors cast at the polls.
After losing the governor’s race in 2018, Walker voted absentee in 2019 when he resided in a rental apartment in Milwaukee. His in-person polling place, the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building was just one streetcar stop away from his front door.
By 2020 he had moved to a home he bought on the shores of Pewaukee Lake in the Town of Delavan. That year he voted once in person and thrice absentee before his 2021 apotheosis. This month, Walker, 53, became the president of the Young America’s Foundation, which is based in Virginia, replacing its Executive Director Ron Robinson, who had held the job since Walker was ten years old. According to the group’s 2019 tax returns, Robinson made $684,000 salary that year, working 60 hours a week for the organization, which promotes conservative issues to college-age students, and also owns Ronald Reagan‘s Rancho Cielo, his Western White House in California as well as his childhood home in Dixon, Illinois.
Maybe Walker can rake in his big salary while based in Wisconsin, or perhaps, like Priebus, he might move to Virginia full time, possibly retaining his Pewaukee residence as a summer cottage, as such properties were originally intended.
Absentee Voter Priebus Fears Absentee Voters
Virginia resident Reinhold Richard “Reince” Priebus also has had second thoughts about absentee voting, expressed in such unequivocal terms that a reader might be surprised to find that he was a frequent early voter before the scales dropped from his eyes.
Of the 21 elections from 2011-2016 that could be immediately reviewed online, Priebus voted absentee in all of them, except for the 2012 Presidential election, where he voted at the polls in Kenosha, where he then resided.
Yet in a pre-election interview on Face the Nation, CBS News Political analyst Priebus, when asked if he was concerned Trump was losing, had this to say:
No, not at all. In fact, I’m not concerned about that at all. I’m- I’m concerned about early vote. I’m concerned about absentee ballot voting, but I’m always worried about early vote and absentee ballot voting.
Spoken just like an addict who is worried about his habit, yet keeps succumbing to it.
The Republican flip-flop on early voting will not prevent any fraud, but it will keep a disproportionate number of Democrats from casting their ballots. Coupled with gerrymandered districts, it is the clearest path to victory for Republican candidates.