Voter suppression: The real election fraud

There should no longer be any question about what’s going on here: The GOP, having determined that free and fair elections no longer work in its favor, is engaged in a national campaign to undermine voter access on a scope not seen since the days of Jim Crow.

By

Opinion

March 29, 2021 - 8:23 AM

So it begins. Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, last week signed into law a raft of new restrictions clearly designed to make voting more difficult for minorities, urban-dwellers and others likely to vote for Democrats. Georgia thus becomes the tip of a long spear of pending red-state voter-suppression laws predicated on former President Donald Trump’s big election-fraud lie. Missouri is among that shameful lineup, with legislative Republicans here pushing yet another solution-in-search-of-a-problem measure to require photo identification for voting and other unnecessary burdens.

There should no longer be any question about what’s going on here: The GOP, having determined that free and fair elections no longer work in its favor, is engaged in a national campaign to undermine voter access on a scope not seen since the days of Jim Crow. Stopping them should be a national priority for Democrats, Republicans of conscience and anyone else who still believes in democracy.

Outside the alternate reality that is MAGA-world, the facts about last year’s presidential election aren’t in dispute: It was the most closely watched, diligently reviewed national election in U.S. history, with dozens of judges and countless state Republican election officials investigating one Trumpian fraud claim after another, and finding not one iota of evidence of even significant voter fraud — let alone the massive fraud that would have been necessary to negate Joe Biden’s 7-million-vote victory over Donald Trump.

Yet Republican state politicians across America continue leaning on Trump’s disproven claims to justify hundreds of proposed restrictions on voting. The bill that Kemp signed Thursday makes Georgia the first battleground state to formally impose such restrictions. The new law needlessly restricts voting hours, mail-in voting and the availability of voting drop-boxes. Most ominously, it gives the Republican-dominated Legislature the power to remove and replace local election officials if it doesn’t like their performance.

Recall that this is the state in which Trump personally harangued state-level Republicans to “find” enough votes for him to win — then consider how that new provision might be abused.

In Missouri, Republicans are on track to revive a previous photo-identification requirement that was substantially gutted by the courts. Since 2017, there have been just three documented cases of individual voter fraud in the state — three — and for that, the Legislature is poised to impose a restriction that disproportionately hinders the poor, the disabled, urban residents and others who are less likely than rural white voters to have a government-issued photo ID.

Games like this are playing out in other red-state legislatures across America, all based on the lie of mass voter fraud, all intended to kneecap voters who might not vote the way the GOP wants. This concerted Republican effort is the real election fraud going on right now.

— St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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