Determined to enforce white political dominance in pivotal states like Georgia, Arizona, Texas and North Carolina, Republicans are enacting or trying to enact laws restricting the right to vote, empowering legislatures to reject election outcomes and adopting election rules and procedures designed to block the emergence of multiracial political majorities.
Republicans “see the wave of demography coming and they are just trying to hold up a wall and keep it from smashing them in,” William Frey, a senior fellow at Brookings, told CNN’s Ron Brownstein. “It’s the last bastion of their dominance, and they are doing everything they can.”
The actions of Republican state legislators to curtail absentee voting, limit days for early voting and seize control of local election boards have prompted 188 scholars to sign a “Statement of Concern: The Threats to American Democracy and the Need for National Voting and Election Administration Standards,” in which they assert:
We have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures.
Among statutes Republican-controlled state legislatures have passed or are in the process of approving are “laws politicizing the administration and certification of elections” that
could enable some state legislatures or partisan election officials to do what they failed to do in 2020: reverse the outcome of a free and fair election. Further, these laws could entrench extended minority rule, violating the basic and longstanding democratic principle that parties that get the most votes should win elections.
The precipitating event driving the current surge of regressive voting legislation in Republican-controlled states is Donald Trump’s defeat in 2020 and the widespread acceptance on the right of Trump’s subsequent claim that the presidency was stolen from him. The belief among Republicans that Trump is essential to their drive to slow or halt the growing power of nonwhite voters aligned with the Democratic Party has powered the broad acquiescence to that lie both by people who know better and by people who don’t. [Continue reading…]