So claims President Trump, who even wants to postpone the election in the hope there would be no mail-in voting. His sidekick AG Bill Barr and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell back him up.
Golly, if you can’t trust these great Americans, who can you trust?
Of course, it’s true that their claims about mail-in voting are ridiculous. Everyone knows that five states already use all mail voting without problems. And anyone who’s paying attention knows that rampant voter fraud is a myth.
So why keep spouting this nonsense? Because it makes them crazy that with all-mail voting they can’t use their favorite election tricks to reduce the number of likely Democratic voters.
The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are dead serious about their efforts to fight mail-in voting around the country. Reportedly, they have $20 million from wealthy conservatives to try to stop mail-in voting around the country.
Suppressing the vote is important to Republicans in many states because their popularity is waning, what with their narrow base, extreme ideology, near-total dependence on right-wing media and insistence on aiding the wealthy. If their base is diminishing, the Republicans’ only hope is to reduce the Democratic vote.
The GOP suppress-the-vote effort has been quite successful in recent elections. In fact in 2016, 44% of adults did not cast ballots. Sen. Mitch McConnell likes to say low voter turnout is a sign of voter contentment. Non-voters, he says, are lazy couch potatoes.
The truth is that Republicans have a number of tricks up their sleeve to suppress the vote, though that doesn’t account for all of the failures to vote. Sometimes, Republicans have even been able to reduce the impact of votes through sophisticated redistricting strategies that effectively allow candidates to pick their voters instead of the other way around.
But their specialty is suppressing the vote.
How do they do it?
Imposing onerous proof-of-citizenship requirements on nonwhite voters before they can register.
Requiring voters to register many days or weeks before elections, rather than registering them right up to the date of the election
Opposing laws that would automatically register voters when their automobiles are registered [in many European countries, no voter registration is required]
Allowing voters to be disqualified on the basis of an election official’s claim that the voter’s signature doesn’t match the signature on the voter’s registration documents
Disqualifying voters if there are any discrepancies, including typos, between the voter registration record and the voter’s persona information
Voter purges without adequate justification. [Seventy percent of Georgia voters purged in 2018 were Black. The current Georgia governor, infamous for his mishandling of the pandemic, caused the purge and got elected Governor.]
Requiring voters to present forms of ID that many don’t have
Keeping elections on a week days because lower income workers find it hard to find time to vote
Inconveniently locating voting places
Reducing the staffing at voting locations in low-income neighborhoods, increasing wait times
Limiting the number of early voting places and the hours they are open
All of the harm caused by use of these tactics will go away if all mail voting takes hold nationally.
For further information on this subject, see Election Meltdown by Richard L. Hasen, an American legal scholar and expert in legislation, election law and campaign finance.
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