Ben Proler is a National Board Member of MaverickPAC, the premier national network for conservative young business professionals.
Dear GOP Leadership,
Our party says it wants to make voting easier but then does the opposite. We restrict polling places and oppose mail-in ballots. Count me as one young Republican who thinks this is hypocritical.
Today, this is the perceived narrative.
GOP leaders decry mail-in voting as problematic, citing concerns about voter fraud. While all Americans want a free and fair election, the perceived republican response should cause some concern. Whether intended or not, the GOP message rings of voter suppression.
Beyond my genuine disenfranchisement concerns for this election, I am very worried about the political ramifications this narrative will have for our party’s future.
Let’s pump the brakes. Everyone agrees that if the party wants to thrive in the next quarter-century, it needs millennial voters. Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s party leaders.
I want to offer some unsolicited thoughts on why the republicans-suppress-voting narrative will hurt us winning millennial voters. Here are some examples of the conversations we are having.
Mail-in voting is susceptible to fraud!
Millennials: Isn’t there an app that can fix this? Your party leaders should be working with industry to address these concerns.
This won’t alienate anyone who would already vote for us.
Millennials: The party needs us to succeed in the future, particularly our Hispanic peers. You might not lose all of us voting with you today, but no one can sell this narrative.
This will all blow over after the election…
Millennials: This story has roots that predate us. Presenting barriers to the vote is a sign of weakness that could last into future elections. The strength of your principles and candidates will win us over.
It’s not too late for the party of Lincoln to be on the right side of history and correct the record.
Acting now could pay dividends as millennial voters see the best of what our party has to offer. If voter fraud is the concern, let’s tackle the fraud, not the vote.
All the best,
A Millennial Republican
Photo: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images