How MAGA Republicans are 'purging' Democrats from local election boards in a ruthless power grab: report

How MAGA Republicans are 'purging' Democrats from local election boards in a ruthless power grab: report

The voter suppression bills that Republicans have been pushing in state legislatures all over the U.S. are dangerous not only because of the ways in which they make voting more difficult, but also, because they seek to give Republicans sole control over election boards that have been bipartisan. A blatant example, according to journalist Justin Glawe, can be found in Spalding County, Georgia — where a local election board is being “purged” of Democrats. And Spalding County, Glawe warns, is but one example of Republicans seeking exclusive control of the administration of elections.

The Spalding County election board, according to Glawe, used to have more Democratic representation and included three Black women; now, it is Republican-controlled. After Republican James Newland was chosen for that board in 2021, Glawe notes, one of the first things he did was eliminate Sunday voting — which has been “a historically heavy turnout day for Black, largely Democratic voters.”

“It was just the latest blow to the county’s Democrats, and another loss for a party that is losing control of election boards across the state as Republican laws make GOP takeovers possible,” Glawe explains. “But what happened in Spalding County is also just a fragment of GOP efforts nationwide to take over the apparatus of American elections. Their goal? To secure party control at every level of government — from the White House to state legislatures and election offices, all the way down to the precinct level, by employing thousands of poll watchers to potentially call into question Democratic votes.”

Glawe adds, “Across the U.S., Republican legislatures have introduced more than 200 bills aimed at reducing local control over elections and restrict voting access, according to the States United Democracy Center. All of it is aimed at ensuring that Republicans will have control over voting and elections rules, in support of Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud in 2020. And the Peach State is Ground Zero, thanks to its increasingly central roles — as a swing state, and as the center of bogus disputes over the 2020 election results.”

Spalding County, Glawe warns, “is no outlier.”

According to Glawe, “Slowly, the sense is dawning in these communities that individual cases like Spalding County’s are not one-offs, but are part of a pattern emerging nationwide.”

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