Republicans are aggressively stepping up their voter suppression campaigns ahead of the 2022 midterms: report
With Democrats now in control of the White House as well as the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans are hoping to regain their majority in either or both Houses of Congress in the 2022 midterms. When Republicans cannot win on the issues, they resort to voter suppression and, in House districts, gerrymandering — and articles by Mother Jones' Ari Berman and the Washington Post's Paul Waldman outline the voter suppression extremes that Republicans are resorting to.
"After record turnout in 2020, Republican-controlled states appear to be in a race to the bottom to see who can pass the most egregious new barriers to voting," Berman reports. "Georgia is Ground Zero for the party's escalating war on voting, targeting the voting methods that were used most by Democratic voters in 2020 and which contributed to flipping the state blue and electing two Democratic senators."
Berman notes that Republican Mike Dugan, majority leader in the Georgia Senate, has introduced a bill that, if passed, would repeal no-excuse absentee voting in the Peach State.
"Under his proposal, only a small subset of voters, such as those who are out of town, disabled, or over 65 — a demographic that leans strongly Republican — will be eligible to vote by mail," Berman explains. "The small percentage of Georgians who can still cast ballots by mail will have to get a witness signature on their ballot and attach a copy of photo identification, which requires access to a copier or printer. The new law would make Georgia one of the most restrictive states in the country for mail voting."
Georgia Senate Republicans just introduced sweeping new voter suppression bill that repeals no-excuse absentee voti… https://t.co/nT1P2EHej3— Ari Berman (@Ari Berman) 1614122359.0
Georgia House Republicans just introduced a bill to ban early voting on Sundays prior to election, when Black churc… https://t.co/FXU5tRuhQt— Ari Berman (@Ari Berman) 1613678260.0
Meanwhile, in the Georgia House of Representatives, Republicans have introduced a bill that would eliminate voting on Sunday. In other words, Georgia Republicans in both houses of the state legislature are going out of their way to make voting as difficult as possible.
In Iowa, Republicans have introduced a bill that would greatly reduce early voting and voting by mail. County officials would be forbidden to send absentee ballot request forms to voters.
Waldman, in his Washington Post column, notes that Republicans are "starting entire organizations dedicated to finding ways to keep Democrats from the polls" — for example, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has started an organization called the Election Transparency Initiative, whose goal, according to Waldman, is "to make sure election laws aren't changed to make it easier for people to vote, especially people who might vote for Democrats." And Waldman adds that former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a far-right Republican, has a voter suppression campaign of her own.
"Something tells me these aren't the last conservative organizations we'll see devoting themselves to fighting the expansion of voting rights and promoting voter suppression," Waldman warns. "The GOP's policy priorities are widely unpopular, and its most well-known elected officials are the targets of revulsion and ridicule. The Republican Party knows that it cannot win a national majority if voting is easy and smooth for everyone. So, election laws must be shaped to make it harder for some people than others. It's about the most important political project Republicans have."
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