Donald Trump‘s 2020 presidential election loss is still reverberating throughout the country.
The incumbent’s loss has fractured The Grand Old Party; some members secretly believe Trump’s loss was a blessing while others are determined to avenge his defeat, but they both agree the more voters, the less likely they are to retain power.
Statistically, larger voter turnouts favor Democrats, so one path to victory for Republicans is to reduce the number of voters. This mindset has energized Republican legislators across the country to enact a slew of new voting restrictions.
Georgia will be the focal point of the GOP push to change state election laws after Democrats narrowly took both Senate seats there and President Joe Biden carried the state by an even smaller margin.
But state Republicans in deep-red states and battlegrounds alike are citing Trump’s meritless claims of voter fraud in 2020 — and the declining trust in election integrity Trump helped drive — as an excuse to tighten access to the polls.
Georgia Republicans, in particular, are intensely focused on their state’s election laws, after the state became the epicenter of Trump’s attempts to undermine confidence in the 2020 election results.
Alice O’Lenick, a Republican on the board of elections in suburban Atlanta, boldly pronounced, “They don’t have to change all of [the rules], but they’ve got to change the major parts of them so that we at least have a shot at winning.” Peach State Republicans have proposed a bevy of changes, from imposing limits on who can vote by mail to limiting the use of drop-boxes, which allow people to return absentee ballots without using the postal system.
Regardless of how these legislative maneuvers are presented, they are voter suppression.
In the aftermath of The Mueller Report on Russian election interference, Senate leader Mitch McConnell blocked two election security bills. One bill that McConnell refused to be allowed on the Senate floor would mandate the use of paper ballots in states’ election systems; the lack of paper ballots is the central pillar of Trump’s unsubstantiated calls of election fraud.
At the time, to agree that there were issues with election security would have given credence to the idea that Trump’s win was aided by Russia, so McConnell stated, “It’s just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia.”
This is not the first time voter suppression has been wrapped in the blanket of election security. After Reconstruction, an influx of new voting laws crushed the Black voting bloc in the south.
For instance, in Louisiana, by 1900, black voters were reduced to 5,320 on the rolls, although they comprised the majority of the state’s population. By 1910, only 730 blacks were registered, less than 0.5% of eligible black men.
So just because limiting early voting days, outlawing drop-boxes, and mandating voter IDs may soon be legal in red states doesn’t make them right, remember at one point, so were poll taxes and literacy test.