The GOP is laying the foundation for all future US elections -- by way of frivolous 'audits'
The 2020 presidential election occurred 11 months ago, but it's aftermath continues to be a serious problem in various states. Like former President Donald Trump, some Republican lawmakers still cannot accept the outcome of the election as they continue to call for audits in hopes of overturning the results.
Buzzfeed editor Sarah Mimms explains the dangers of Republicans' actions and how their countermeasures are establishing a foundation that could subsequently lead to the vast majority of elections being challenged by those who are simply disgruntled by the outcome. The result: frivolous, Republican-backed audits and poorly written pieces of legislation designed to aggressively dismantle America's voting rights systems.
In fact, Mims also highlights the trickle down effect of this ongoing issue as a sizable faction of American voters still believe Trump won the presidential election.
"Roughly one-third of Americans believe Trump's continued lies about widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election," Mimms wrote according to a recent Monmouth poll. "Now, add in the potential for similar claims from dozens of losing candidates in every single primary and general election race — not to mention county and state party chairs and committees supporting ballot measures, all of whom can also force a look into a past election — and you have the nightmare outcome of a bill like Texas's SB 47."
Sarah Walker, executive director for the nonpartisan election integrity organization, Secure Democracy, expressed deep concern about the Texas bill describing it as "the single most concerning bill I have seen all legislative session."
While the Texas bill has not yet been voted on, the problem spans further than just the bill. What it could come mean for America's democracy is far more troubling. Former Kentucky secretary of state Trey Grayson (R), who had emerged as a vocal critic of these audits, has warned that the former president's actions have set the tone for disgruntled candidates and voters to challenge the outcomes of unfavorable elections on all levels of government.
"When you see him not accepting the outcome, despite evidence, and making wild allegations, I am confident that we're gonna see it happen this year," Grayson said. "You know, this is kind of an off-year, we don't have a lot of elections, but if there's close races, people are just gonna approach it differently because what's going to happen is your supporters are going to expect it."
Walker also warned of a different scenario. "If we can see the sort of wildfire, sham audit spread in an election in which it was a decisive victory, you can only imagine what happens when it is a close election," Walker said.
James Slattery, a senior staff attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project, also shared a similar observation.
"What I believe is happening is that they're using their control over the levers of power here to do audits, so that they can normalize them as a routine, accepted, and harmless feature of American elections so that in the future, they can use those precedents to actually make a decisive and voter suppressive impact on elections," Slattery noted.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) recently echoed Slattery's remarks when she weighed in on the Republican-led audits. She believes Republicans' longterm goal is "to lay the groundwork for new laws that make it harder for Americans to cast their ballots, but easier for dishonest officials to overturn the results of elections they don't like."
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