Republican Party brings election fraud allegations back into the fold


Donald Trump was not the first Republican to suggest that the US election was rigged. One of the reasons his ploy was so successful was, in fact, that Republican voters had long been suspicious of unfavorable election results. In 2007, for example, President George W. Bush’s Justice Department announced that a five-year investigation had found no evidence of systematic voter fraud in US elections, an investigation aimed at responding to allegations from Bush’s base. Had to give.

There are many reasons why these rumors spread. One, it’s safe to assume that Americans were increasingly living in partisan isolation — they didn’t know anyone who supposedly voted for the opposition. This overlaps with the urban/rural political divide, given how often fraud rumors focus on supposed democratic cynicism in the cities.

But the rumors were also intentionally promoted by Republican actors because they were effective. Make people think that fraud is rampant, and they will support legislative responses to fraud. And the response to these legislations almost inevitably included making it more difficult for Democrats to vote. It is not a difficult sequence of logic to follow.

Sign up for Flip Bump’s weekly data newsletter, how to read this chart.

So, despite the obvious damage caused by Trump’s escalating claims about voter fraud — real damage to the Capitol, political damage to Republican candidates associated with it — the Republican Party has tried to repurpose that energy to its advantage. ready to do The Washington Post has obtained a report prepared by the Republican National Committee that recommends that the party not root out false and baseless claims of fraud but, instead, use them to win elections. Use for

“The report concludes that the party must continue the efforts it launched after the election disaster to restore Republican confidence in its polls,” write The Post’s Amy Gardner and Isaac Arnsdorff. “But instead of countering misinformation about fraud, the report calls for more aggressive legal strategies to recruit staff and volunteers to monitor elections and ‘hold election officials accountable for violating the law.’ Encourages.”

Again, much of this is because it has worked for a long time. Say there’s fraud even when there isn’t, and then say you need to aggressively “monitor” who’s voting – a practice that has the effect of deterring even well-intentioned legitimate voters. .

The Republican Party used to do this a lot. In the early 1980s, he literally policed ​​polling places, deploying off-duty police in non-white areas. That led to a lawsuit by the Democratic Party — and a three-decade-long consent decree barring the GOP from engaging in such election surveillance.

The consent decree was lifted in 2018.

Race is the constant subtext here. Many of the places that consistently increase the largest margins for Democrats are black areas in cities. If you’re looking for otherwise Democratic voters who might be conducting the kind of tactics you think are typical of American elections, race is often a useful proxy for party. Of course, there is also a full history of right-wing actors trying to suppress the black vote. Traditional “polls for souls” turnout efforts in the South were designed to allay the fears that individual black voters faced. Limiting voter access often disproportionately affects black and Hispanic voters.

Even Trump’s cheating claims often focus on race — not that it’s particularly surprising. When no evidence emerged to support his claims that thousands of illegally cast votes influenced the results, his allies blamed the election for “rigged” efforts to boost turnout in the heavily Democratic. Diverted to things like — read: heavily dark — areas. In Wisconsin, for example, a Republican-led investigation into the 2020 election focused largely on outside group funding that was used to facilitate voting in places with low turnout. was historically low, which often means in low-income locations. and non-white residents.

The 2022 election was better for the party. Republican Robert Spandel, vice chairman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, celebrated the change in an email newsletter.

“We can be especially proud that the City of Milwaukee (80.2% Dem vote) cast 37,000 fewer votes than it did in the 2018 election, with the largest declines occurring in black and Hispanic precincts. ” read in part. It was credited with a “multi-pronged plan” that included “biting black radio negative commercials run directly on Dem candidates in the last few weeks of the election cycle.”

Spindel was just the latest Republican to celebrate efforts to reduce the black vote. At a rally after his 2016 election, Trump himself drew applause as he praised black people who did not vote. A Bloomberg article published shortly before the election suggested that suppressing the black vote was an obvious tactic used by his campaign.

On paper, none of this is what the Republican Party wants to do. On paper, it only wants to do what it says it did in 2022: “Rehabilitate[e] Republican confidence in the election process by creating the largest, most trained election integrity organization in the history of the Republican Party.

There is no good reason to question the integrity of our elections. Given that many Republicans view Democratic voters as inherently suspicious, that makes it easier to build support for limiting or policing their ability to vote. For many Republicans, the fact that any Democrats win anywhere is evidence that they are cheating. So, naturally, they are guaranteed to crack down unless they do.

This is how it has been working for a very long time.

Read full article here

Related Articles

Latest Posts