These states are seeing some of the GOP’s most 'egregious' power grabs: reporter
During the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and his allies in the Republican National Committee believed that the way to grow the GOP was by appealing to a wide range of voters — including the Blue Dog “Reagan Democrats” in his coalition. And during the 1990s and 2000s, members of the Bush family, along with Republican strategist Karl Rove, argued that many Latinos were potential Republican voters and natural conservatives even if they didn’t realize it yet.
Now, MAGA Republicans believe that the best way to stay in office is by making it more difficult to vote, and draconian GOP-sponsored voter suppression laws are being passed or proposed all over the United States.
Journalist Ari Berman, in a listicle published by Mother Jones on February 16, offers examples of some of the “egregious” power grabs that Republicans have been attempting or carrying out in various states — including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida and Colorado.
“Ahead of the midterms,” Berman warns, “Republicans have launched a full-scale assault on the election system. Fueled by the Big Lie, this attack relies upon a multi-pronged strategy of gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the takeover of election positions by ideologues who allege that the 2020 election was stolen.”
Most of the states that Berman discusses are ones that President Joe Biden won in the 2020 election, although former President Donald Trump carried Florida by around 3.5%. Describing Florida’s voter suppression law, Berman explains, “Mimicking Georgia, Republicans banned giving food and water to voters in line, along with making it harder to vote by mail — after more Democrats than Republicans did so for the first time in the state’s recent history. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill in May during a ‘Fox & Friends’ exclusive; all other media outlets were barred from the event.”
NEW: News media is barred from entry at Gov. Ron DeSantis\u2019 signing of controversial elections bill, SB 90. DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske says bill signing is a \u201cFox exclusive\u201dpic.twitter.com/NAos6kmtQS— Steve Bousquet (@Steve Bousquet) 1620300788
In Texas, which Biden lost by 6% in 2020, Republicans have responded to Democratic gains in the light red state with a voter suppression bill that Gov. Greg Abbott happily signed into law. Texas Republicans, Berman notes, have banned all ballot drop boxes in Texas — and Berman adds that in Galveston, “the GOP-controlled county commission has adopted new redistricting maps that eliminated the county’s lone district where voters of color are the majority, represented by Democrat Stephen Holmes for 22 years — one of the most flagrant examples of racial gerrymandering since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013.”
Meanwhile, in the swing state of Pennsylvania — which has gone Democrat in every post-1980s presidential election except 2016 — MAGA Republicans are not only pushing for voter suppression, but trying to take over election administration positions.
Berman observes, “Stephen Lindemuth of Elizabethtown attended the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on January 6 that led to the insurrection. In November, he won a bid to become a local election judge — part of a growing wave of Big Lie proponents who are taking over election administration positions.”
\u201cVoter suppression laws make it harder for a 90-year-old living in rural Pennsylvania...\n\nIt'll impact a farmer in Pennsylvania who might have a very busy day on election day...\n\nall in service of one man & one Big Lie.\u201d\n\nWatch @SenBobCasey lay out what Democrats are fighting forpic.twitter.com/iWeZ05sR4g— Senate Democrats (@Senate Democrats) 1642557714
The “Stop the Steal” movement is also alive and well in Wisconsin, another state that flipped from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020.
Berman warns, “Republicans have launched an all-out assault on the integrity of the state’s election system, with former conservative State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman — who admitted he didn’t have ‘any understanding of how elections work’ — launching a sprawling Arizona-style audit of the 2020 election, while other top Republicans have called for jailing members of the state’s bipartisan elections commission and stripping them of the authority to oversee elections.”
In 2021, 3 new voter suppression laws went on the books in AZ, including policies that destroy the permanent early voter list, allow legitimate votes to be thrown out & purge voter rolls.\n\nIn 2022, Rs have introduced even more. There is no sitting out the fight on voting rights.— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1643149253
Arizona, once a deep red state known for the conservative politics of Sen. Barry Goldwater and Sen. John McCain, is much more Democrat-friendly than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Biden won Arizona, which has two centrist Democratic senators (Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly) and a conservative Republican governor (Doug Ducey).
Describing the MAGA power grab in Arizona, Berman observes, “Republicans stripped Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs of the power to defend state election laws and transferred that authority to the Republican attorney general — but only through the 2022 election, in case the partisan composition of the offices is reversed after that.”
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