Making an attempt to maintain individuals away from the poll field is not a successful technique


A voter fills out his poll at a polling station in Buckingham County, Va., November 3, 2020. (Parker Michels-Boyce / For the Virginia Mercury)

Take into account the next:

A profligate prevaricator, the de facto capo of the Republican Social gathering, spouted lie after lie in each the run-up to and after the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump was abetted craven acolytes who knew higher, and conspiracy theorists — in public workplace each in Virginia and elsewhere — for whom details had been merely “solutions.” 

(For a chilling have a look at Trump’s deceit to overturn the election, learn Axios’ eight-part sequence on the behind-the-scenes machinations Trump and his minions.) 

Republican officers claimed Democrat Joe Biden didn’t win in November, although he earned roughly the identical variety of electoral votes as Trump did 4 years earlier. Biden additionally gained tens of millions extra within the widespread vote nationwide. Courts, state officers and even the U.S. lawyer common mentioned Biden’s victory was legit.

This was even earlier than the lethal rebel, incited Trump, on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

So it’s onerous to now take severely the baying of Republican legislators, within the commonwealth and across the nation, who demand adjustments to state election legal guidelines. They are saying such modifications would enhance “election integrity.” 

All of that is nonsense. Republicans are apoplectic Trump misplaced, although he bungled the pandemic response that claimed the lives of lots of of hundreds of People. 

GOP elected leaders have uttered jeremiads they had been cheated, as a substitute of acknowledging their deep embrace of the onetime Racist-in-Chief and the get together’s lack of attraction to many Blacks, Latinos and Asian-People. 

The continuing Republican blueprint on voting entry is nakedly cynical: Erect as many limitations to voting as doable. Then conceal behind the pretense of election accuracy. Most of those insurance policies would have an effect on Democratic-leaning voters extra, thus decreasing turnout for his or her candidates.

Which is precisely the purpose. If you happen to can’t win on a degree enjoying discipline, then tilt it. 

The difficulty got here to the fore within the Virginia Normal Meeting throughout debate final week, in line with The Washington Submit. A part of the dialogue centered on a price range modification launched Home Minority Chief Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah. He wished the state Division of Elections to purge voter rolls of useless individuals each week as a substitute of each month, which occurs now. 

Nobody prompt in The Submit article the present course of is flawed, or that “useless individuals” have been leaving graveyards to solid ballots. The dispute appeared extra designed to throw suspicion on previous elections. Gilbert’s proposal died within the Democratic-controlled Home. 

The article additionally repeated how three Republican delegates had written a letter to then-Vice President Mike Pence asking him to nullify the commonwealth’s slate of presidential electors. This may’ve snuffed out the need of Virginians, who supported Biden practically a half-million votes

Has Virginia made it simpler for individuals to vote lately? Sure. It was the appropriate factor to do, particularly after the pandemic arrived. Among the many adjustments was “no excuse” absentee voting, which was lengthy overdue. 

“Virginia election officers performed essentially the most protected, safe and profitable election within the historical past of the commonwealth on Nov. 3, 2020,” the state Division of Elections famous lately. Which means whereas issues might be higher, the method right here in the end labored — regardless of the unfounded claims spouted some politicians. 

Creeping disenfranchisement may happen across the nation, following the massive turnout that occurred final yr. One get together has proven, repeatedly, it frowns on the idea of as many eligible voters as doable going to the polls.

“In a backlash to historic voter turnout within the 2020 common election, and grounded in a rash of baseless and racist allegations of voter fraud and election irregularities, legislators have launched properly over 4 occasions the variety of payments to limit voting entry as in comparison with roughly this time final yr,” the Brennan Heart for Justice at New York College reported this month. “Thirty-three states have launched, prefiled, or carried over 165 restrictive payments this yr (as in comparison with 35 such payments in fifteen states on February 3, 2020).”

In the meantime, different state lawmakers seized on “an energized citizens and protracted curiosity in democracy reform (which is likewise mirrored in Congress),” the Brennan Heart mentioned. “To this point, thirty-seven states have launched, prefiled, or carried over 541 payments to broaden voting entry.” 

That’s the monitor the nation ought to be following. Make voting easy and easy. Welcome individuals to the polls — as a substitute of blocking the poll containers.

The final time a Republican gained a statewide workplace in Virginia was 2009. 

Within the 21st century, the Republican candidate for president has gained the favored vote nationwide simply as soon as, in 2004. That was George W. Bush’s re-election contest.

The difficulty isn’t voting legal guidelines, fraud or voter identification. For the GOP, the issue is what they’re promoting to the citizens.



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