Texas

Republicans use voters to drive electoral reform in unlikely states

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Republicans have successfully passed various voting restrictions this year in politically controlled states, from Georgia to Iowa to Texas. They don’t stop there.

Republicans in at least four states (California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Pennsylvania), where the Democratic Party controls the Governor’s Office, Parliament, or both, are voters in pursuit of state-wide voting initiatives or veto-free proposals. It enacts ID restrictions and other changes to the election law.

In another state, Nebraska, a referendum controls the governor’s office and is dominated by a single parliament, but is pushing for a voter ID voting bill because it couldn’t carry enough parliamentarians.

Republicans say they are pursuing a name change called “election integrity,” repeating a similar slogan of “easy to vote and hard to cheat.” Democrats try to distrust the elections after former President Donald Trump’s false allegations that the elections have been costly due to widespread fraud, blocking the registration and throwing of Democratic voters Rejected as passing the limit for. vote.

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Gas Bickford, Massachusetts Democratic Chairman, said: “They just want to curb voting.”

Common to Republican proposals is to tighten the requirements for voter identification in both face-to-face and mail voting.

In Michigan and Pennsylvania, Republicans are trying to evade the Democratic governor, who wields a veto pen. Republicans in Wisconsin say they are also considering such a strategy.

In California and Massachusetts, Republicans are a minority in both Houses of Parliament. In Republican-controlled Nebraska, hang-ups are officially nonpartisan legislatures that could derail legislation in which more liberal lawmakers enjoy widespread conservative support.

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While the path to voter approval is difficult in California and Massachusetts, there is a clearer path to success in other states.

Carl DeMaio of Reform California, a leader in California’s efforts, said his organization is pursuing a voting initiative because Democrats never take up his group’s proposals.

“That means they’re verifying Donald Trump, and they have so much hatred for Donald Trump that I don’t want to admit that there’s even a problem here,” Demaio said. Told.

Aside from Mr. Trump’s allegations of unfounded fraud, Mr. Demaio sympathizes with people who have questioned the election system based on their own experience, such as mailing duplicate ballots at home for Mr. Trump’s message. He said he was calling.

Fraudulent voting is extremely rare, and if it is attempted, it is usually caught by the local election office.

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In any case, Democrats say the voter ID law does nothing to prevent the small scams that exist. Rather, it only helps force older people, poor people, and people with disabilities to go unnecessarily long to get proper government-issued ID that they may not have. They say.

Despite Trump’s false allegations of election theft, his own Justice Department and numerous recounts blamed them, and courts up to the US Supreme Court wiped out such allegations. The government’s cybersecurity agency has declared that the 2020 presidential election is the safest in US history.

No state legislature has provided evidence of widespread fraudulent elections. Nonetheless, at least 10 Republican-controlled states have enacted legislation so far this year to tighten voter ID or signature requirements or reduce the chances of voting or registering for voting.

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Putting voter-related issues into state-wide voting is nothing new.

For example, in recent years, California and Florida voters have regained the right to vote for serious crimes. In 2018, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment that would allow them to register on Election Day and request an absentee ballot without explaining why.

The difference this year is that Republicans are using this process in an attempt to put restrictions that cannot be passed otherwise.

In California, Massachusetts, and Nebraska, Republicans are trying to collect enough signatures to get ballot proposals in next year’s general election.

In Michigan, the Republican Party uses anomalous provisions in the State Constitution to collect sufficient petition signatures, allowing the GOP-controlled state legislature to pass a non-refusal voter ID bill.

In particular, the Michigan initiative will ban sending mail ballots to those who did not request it, with supporters saying it had instilled turmoil and distrust in 2020.

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“Democratic leadership is out of step with their voters,” said Jamie Roe, Republican campaign consultant and Strategist for the SecureMIVote initiative.

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer told reporters this month that there was no “cinchilla” of evidence of fraudulent voting in last year’s elections, and Republicans are dissatisfied with Trump’s defeat, a similar bill. Preparing to refuse.

“Our elections work. Don’t you like the results? Well, you run for the next election and try to get people’s votes and get them. Vote as an American and do it. Don’t cut out some of the people who have the rights, “Whitmer said.

In Pennsylvania, where ballots are not directly accessible due to citizens’ initiative, the earliest possible time for a Republican-controlled parliament to make election changes to ballots through a proposed constitutional amendment is 2023.

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The Pennsylvania proposal goes beyond changing voter IDs.

As Trump’s allies move from state to state and push for a partisan review of last year’s presidential election, the Pennsylvania bill requires state audit presidents to audit election results. After the election is approved, you will need a paper ballot to watermark and undergo a “public inspection”.

The bill is probably waiting for a vote in the State Capitol as early as next week before going to the Senate. Its sponsor, Republican Rep. Jeff Wheeland, said he would “reliably return to voters” that their elections were safe and secure. Another Republican, Rep. Eric Nelson, told voters “to deal with what many feel is a frenzy of distrust of the current electoral system.”

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Democrat Malcolm Kenyatta said Mr. Trump was defeated in a fierce battle state and said the only reason for this move was “some people are disappointed with the outcome of the election.”

Under a proposed initiative in California, the county will clean up the voter registration role, assess the waiting time for direct voting in all elections, and show how to correct “unreasonably long” waiting times. We need to do more for that.

In Nebraska, groups such as the Black Voting Issue and the League of Women Voters are working together to oppose Republican-backed voting initiatives.

John Cartier, director of voting rights for the Civic Nebraska, said the initiative violated the constitutional protection of Nebraska’s voting access. He said he had never been convicted of voter spoofing fraud in state history.

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Moreover, states such as Arizona and Georgia already have strict voter identity legislation, and “people don’t really trust the system there,” Cartier said. “Therefore, the enactment of the Voter ID Act does nothing for trust. If anything, it hurt it.”

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The Associated Press author David Eggert of Lansing, Michigan contributed to this report. Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/timelywriter.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.



Republicans use voters to drive electoral reform in unlikely states

Source link Republicans use voters to drive electoral reform in unlikely states

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