As she’s undertaken a large-scale, multimillion-dollar effort to push back on Democratic attempts to expand vote-by-mail access before the election, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has been clear about one thing: She’s not conceptually opposed to absentee voting.
In press calls, McDaniel has said she’s comfortable with states sending out applications for ballots that voters can send in by mail because they have a proper reason for not being able to show up in person. What she’s opposed to is states sending out the ballots themselves, especially without safeguards in place to determine who is getting them. That’s been true of the lawsuits that the RNC has spearheaded recently, including one directed at California, which sent out mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
What McDaniel has left unsaid, and what may be the reason for how specific her position has been, is that she herself has voted absentee—repeatedly. Michigan voting records obtained by The Daily Beast show that she did so in 2016, 2017, 2018 and for the presidential primary in 2020. Public records show that McDaniel is on Michigan’s “permanent absentee voter list,” meaning that she is “sent an application for every election.”