Trump Appears to Hedge on Early Voting and Mail-in Ballots, Focuses on 'Phony Ballots'

Trump Appears to Hedge on Early Voting and Mail-in Ballots, Focuses on 'Phony Ballots'

Chris Nelson
Chris Nelson
July 19, 2023

In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity this week, former President Donald Trump hesitated at giving a full-throated endorsement of an 'all the above' approach to voting in the 2024 election cycle.

President Trump said he did support the 'all of the above approach,' but focused more on complaining about "phony ballots."

Hannity asked, "Do you now encourage and embrace early voting, voting by mail, and legal ballot harvesting?"

Trump replied: "I do, but...they also create phony ballots, and that's a real problem."

Bonchie, a DeSantis supporter and commentator for Red State tweeted, "I don’t understand the hesitation to say 'yes, everyone should vote in whatever way they can because we need to maximize ballots in our favor.' Telling people the system creates phony ballots only depresses the vote for you, even if you believe it. The system is not changing."

Governor Ron DeSantis has fully embraced an "all the above" approach to voting, including the use of early voting, mail-in ballots, and ballot harvesting in states where it is legal.

"Here's what we have to do. Each state has different rules. A State like Nevada, they have ballot harvesting. I can tell you this: We are ballot harvesting there," said DeSantis at a June campaign stop in Nevada.  "We are going to do Zuckerbucks. We are going to do whatever we need to do to erase what the Democrats are doing. I am not fighting with one hand tied behind my back. I am not telling people not to vote in these states. We need to exploit whatever we can."


DeSantis's approach matches up almost identically with the approach of GOP election expert Scott Presler. Presler has been on the ground across the country since 2020 registering new Republicans and working to win elections up and down the ballot for Republicans.

Gov. Ron DeSantis

"I am calling for an all-of-the-above approach to voting," said Presler at Turning Point USA Conference in Palm Beach on Sunday. "We are going to use the tools of the democrats to elect Republicans. Two can play at this game."

Presler, who has remained neutral in the battle for the GOP nomination, voiced concerns over President Trump's ground game in a Twitter space earlier this month.

“DeSantis’s camp is out doing the door knocking, doing the voter registration. I’m curious as to whether President Trump’s team has the same infrastructure built out. Are y’all doing the work required?” asked Presler.


After the 2020 Election, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature implemented various election security measures including forming the Department of Election Crimes which led to the arrests of illegal voters including those convicted of sex crimes. DeSantis come to Broward County two months before the 2022 Election to announce the arrest of twenty people suspected of voting illegally. DeSantis also banned Zuckerbucks and ballot harvesting in the State of Florida.

While traditionally Republican states like Arizona struggled in the 2022 midterm election, Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Republicans enjoyed historic victories up and down the ballot.

DeSantis posted a 20-point route of Democrat Charlie Crist, possibly the largest victory for a Florida Republican Governor in modern history.

While the first votes in the 2024 Republican presidential primary will not be cast for another six months, President Trump continues to be the frontrunner in the race and has garnered a huge public opinion poll advantage over DeSantis.

In a  recent New Hampshire poll taken of likely Republican voters, DeSantis appears to have gained some ground on Trump with Granite State voters.


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Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson is a videographer and investigative reporter based in Fort Lauderdale. Chris covers breaking news, and local and state politics, and focuses on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. His work has been cited on Fox News and Epoch Times.

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