Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Fighting Republican Voter Suppression

It's no news that Republicans are desperate to hold onto power at all costs and will use every trick and bend every rule to do just that. In would- be autocrat and hydroxychloroquine dabbler Donald "Disinfectant Donnie" Trump, they have an avid and active player in their voter suppression plans.

Trump's paranoia about voting by mail, even in in the midst of a pandemic, is tied to Republican fears of a big voter turnout, which generally favors Democrats. This morning he lashed out at one of his favorite targets -- Michigan Democrats:
President Donald Trump on Wednesday uncorked an angry Twitter rant against Michigan for sending out absentee ballots to its state’s voters.
“Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election,” the president wrote. “This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!”
Trump’s angry rant came after Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced this week that all registered voters in Michigan would receive ballots through the mail this year that they could send in to avoid having to go to the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of course, absentee voting has long been common practice, although with the pandemic Trump mismanaged into over 90,000 deaths and counting, many states are planning on expanding it for public health reasons now and in the fall.  Michigan is pro- actively sending ballot applications to voters to make it easier and safer to vote, something Republicans don't like, and particularly the sociopath in the Oval Office, who's seeing states that he barely carried in 2016 returning to the Blue Wall.

It's also a given that "voter fraud" is the go- to excuse for Republicans when they've lost an election (see Trump's excuse for losing the 2016 popular vote) or are petrified they're going to lose one.  The legality of Trump's extortionist bluff to withhold "funding" from Michigan to spite their going to absentee balloting will end up in the courts if he goes through with it.  It has the strong whiff of desperation, in any event (and was entirely predictable).

At the core of their voter suppression is the belief that only certain people should be voting:
“Voters deemed suspicious” by the GOP is a category that includes black people, Latinos, students, black people, and also black people.
The attempts to intimidate voters on Election Day are best understood as the culmination of a lengthy effort to make voting as cumbersome and difficult as possible for people whom the GOP deems to be the wrong kind of voter. While you can sometimes remove people outright from the voter rolls (and voter purges are a key component in the voter suppression arsenal), you don’t necessarily have to make it impossible for people to vote, as long as you make it hard.
So you pass voter ID laws, because you know poor people and minorities are going to be less likely to have approved IDs. Then you limit early voting and start closing polling places. Then when Election Day comes, you deploy your “ballot security” troops.
As this article points out, Democrats are fighting back:
... They have their own legal teams mounting challenges to voter suppression laws, and groups organizing voters, and with the pandemic going on they’re pushing for more vote-by-mail. On Election Day, they’ll also be sending their own teams out to polling locations, to help push back on Republican challenges and help people assert their right to vote.
And there was the lesson we learned from the voter suppression tactics used in the recent Wisconsin special election that backfired spectacularly on Republicans:
The lesson is that in that kind of a context — with a dramatic, high-profile fight over Republican voter suppression efforts — the Republican effort produced a backlash. As Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Ben Wikler said afterward, “Voter suppression might not be as clever as Republicans think it is. It can backfire by pissing voters off.”
The more attention is given to GOP voter suppression efforts, the more voter suppression itself becomes a campaign issue, one that can boost turnout among Democrats. However you might feel about Joe Biden, it becomes more important to exercise your right to vote if you think someone is trying to take it away.
Exposure is a great weapon against Republican anti- democratic abuses.  We all need to give those abuses the attention they deserve.  And stay pissed off!

BONUS: From Michigan's Secretary of State --

BONUS II:  After Trump deleted the original tweet and re-tweeted a "corrected" version, Jocelyn Benson still had to correct the dimbulb --


Mart said...

Trump's compassion again shines thru in his tweet as Midland MI is expected to have 9 feet of water after two dams were breached. MO is close to approving the same absentee voter expansion due to Covid-19 as MI. Wonder why Trump isn't threatening that solid Republican state?

W. Hackwhacker said...

Mart -- good point. It's always about retribution and sticking it to blue states. Ohio is a Republican- run state exploring the same expansion as Michigan; his is tiny mind doubtless thinks if the Repubs are in charge they can jigger the results no matter the method of voting. He thinks and acts like a thug.

donnah said...

Any Michigander who votes for Trump is a moron.