Voter suppression in the US

2020-04-01

in Politics

People often argue that demographics give the Democrats a long-term advantage in America, since parts of the population that support them are growing. Counteracting that, Republican supporters are more likely to vote and the design of the US government gives disproportionate importance to low-population states.

It’s no secret that Republicans try to extend their advantage through measures like disallowing student ID as a means of voting while allowing things like hunting licenses, manipulating advance voting rules, strategically altering the availability of voting places, and exploiting the fear of voter fraud to try to reduce turnout for the Democrats. Still, it was surprising to see President Trump be so open about the importance of vote suppression to Republican electoral prospects: Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote.

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. April 8, 2020 at 6:17 pm

Trump: GOP should fight mail-in voting because it ‘doesn’t work out well for Republicans’ – POLITICO

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/08/trump-voting-by-mail-174695

. April 11, 2020 at 2:49 pm
. April 11, 2020 at 2:50 pm

“The idea is a reprisal of once-illegal Election Day “ballot security” intimidation tactics, intended to challenge voter registration and remove voters from the rolls. At a strategy session in February attended by conservative donors and activists, several people expressed a specific need for Republican poll watchers in “inner city” and predominantly Native American precincts, according to audio recordings of the event obtained by The Intercept and Documented.

“You get some [Navy] Seals in those polls and they’re going to say, ‘No, no, this is what it says. This is how we’re going to play this show,’” said Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote, a group that lobbies for voting restrictions and organizes volunteers to go into precincts and aggressively challenge voters who they believe are improperly registered. “That’s what we need. We need people who are unafraid to call it like they see it.””

. April 29, 2020 at 6:43 pm

Texas 26th amendment lawsuit: seven states restrict mail-in voting through unconstitutional age discrimination.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/04/26th-amendment-texas-absentee-ballots.html

. May 1, 2020 at 9:21 pm

Republicans oppose ending in-person voting, likening any change to poll-rigging. Not coincidentally, they rely on older, small-town and rural voters who, polls suggest, are less fearful of the pandemic. “Our electorate is more likely to show on election day,” says Brian Reisinger, a conservative lawyer. Without them, his party would struggle against Democrats’ expected support from absentee and early voters.

Why does this matter? Interest in the presidential primary has waned, although Joe Biden will be road-testing his strength in blue-collar parts of a crucial swing state. It is the court race that really sets Wisconsin political hearts aflutter. Conservatives have a 5-2 advantage on the bench, but one of their incumbents is up for re-election in a tight race. The equivalent contest last year was decided by fewer than 6,000 votes.

That judicial race is politically important because of two significant cases on the court’s docket. It may rule, possibly before November, on whether 200,000 supposedly out-of-date registered names can be purged from the voting roll, and on what kind of voter ids should be acceptable at polling stations. Democrats fear this could hurt them. The court will also have a big say on redistricting plans next year. Republicans fret that a new liberal-minded judge might press the court to unpick earlier reforms, perhaps to restore some powers stripped from public-sector unions.

. May 1, 2020 at 9:38 pm

This debacle holds lessons for other states. One is about turnout. Wisconsin’s Republican Party has insisted on going ahead with in-person voting in the midst of the country’s worst public-health crisis in a century. The official line is that this is all about preserving the sanctity and integrity of elections, but it is also more than a little convenient for a party that seeks low turnout in cities and high turnout in rural Wisconsin.

That approach—gaining electoral advantage by discouraging voting—is consistent with the Republican Party’s hostility nationwide to measures that would make voting easier. In any democracy, a party that considers pursuing a lower turnout to be a legitimate electoral strategy does not deserve to win elections.

. May 16, 2020 at 4:29 pm

One of Donald Trump’s special talents is to hold every conceivable position on a given subject at the same time. So it is with voting by mail in American elections. The president used a postal ballot to vote in Florida’s Republican primary last month. He has also denounced postal voting as an invitation to fraud. He has said voting by mail “doesn’t work out well for Republicans”. And he has said that postal voting should be expanded for older voters and for members of the armed forces, two groups he assumes would favour him in November.

In Colorado, for example, voters can track their ballots through each stage of the electoral process, opting to receive a text message when their ballot is mailed, when it is returned, and when it has been counted. Oregon reckons that it has dispatched 100m postal ballots since 2000, and seen fewer than a dozen cases of electoral fraud.

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