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As support for party shrinks, GOP focuses on restricting voting

NPR reports:

Republican-led legislatures in dozens of states are moving to change election laws in ways that could make it harder to vote.

Many proposals explicitly respond to the 2020 election: Lawmakers cite public concerns about election security — concerns generated by disinformation that then-President Donald Trump spread while trying to overturn the election.

The Brennan Center, a nonprofit that tracks voting laws, says that 43 states — including key swing states — are considering 253 bills that would raise barriers to voting, for example by reducing early voting days or limiting access to voting by mail. Lawmakers in a different set of 43 states have proposed expanding voter access, but Republicans have prioritized new security requirements and shorter voting periods.

In Georgia, which President Biden won by nearly 12,000 votes, legislators are considering multiple bills to restrict voting. The most significant, House Bill 531, is before a committee chaired by Republican Rep. Barry Fleming. He said Democrat Stacey Abrams campaigned to expand voter access after losing a governor’s race in 2018, and now Republicans want their own changes. The bill is “an attempt to restore the confidence of our public,” he said, because “there has been controversy regarding our election system.”

That controversy had no basis in fact. Audits and recounts confirmed the accuracy of the vote count in Georgia, and lawsuits there and in other states by the Trump campaign and allies failed to show otherwise. But Trump sought to discredit the vote and even asked Georgia’s secretary of state to change the vote totals. Now Georgia lawmakers are moving to repair a system that was not shown to be broken. [Continue reading…]

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