Republican Efforts to Restrict Voting Continue with More Lies and Disinformation

Even after being criticized for citing disproven claims of voter fraud by Trump, Republicans have continued with their efforts to limit the right of millions of Americans to vote in a brazen attempt to remain in power. No matter what reasoning Republicans give, these efforts are not aimed at securing our elections, they’re meant to limit the number of Americans who can vote — and prevent voters from holding them accountable for opposing popular policies like President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

After claims of widespread voter fraud were roundly discredited, Republicans have doubled down on their strategy to disenfranchise millions of voters as an electoral strategy. 

Axios: “Senate Republicans’ main campaign arm will unveil a seven-figure ad campaign in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and New Hampshire targeting Democrats’ effort to expand voting, Axios has learned.”

Vanity Fair: “Speaking out against the bill, which passed the House earlier this month, McConnell said Democrats were putting forth a ‘solution in search of a problem’—and implied that he was simply shocked that his party would be accused of trying to disenfranchise voters. ‘States,’ he said, ‘are not engaging in trying to suppress voters, whatsoever.’ […] That denial, of course, doesn’t settle the matter any more than a kid covered in crumbs denying he raided the cookie jar would; Republicans have long seen limiting voter participation as a key electoral strategy, but under Trump they have been even more brazen about it.”

The Guardian: “But others have shown that their motivation is anti-democratic. Trump dismissed proposals to make it easier to vote last year by saying: ‘You’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.’ And this month, Michael Carvin, a lawyer representing the Arizona Republican party, said something similar when Justice Amy Coney Barrett asked him what interest the party had in defending two Arizona voting restrictions. Lifting those restrictions, Carvin said, ‘puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats. Politics is a zero-sum game.’”

Republicans have blatantly pushed to restrict Sunday voting, which Black and Brown voters often rely on to cast their ballots. 

Daily Beast: “Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) has defended a Republican effort to restrict voting on Sundays—a move critics say would suppress voting in minority communities—by invoking the Bible to argue the Sabbath should be free of political activity to ‘keep it holy.’ […] But that’s one part of the Bible that Hyde-Smith didn’t apply to her own electioneering. In 2018, as she campaigned for her Senate seat in a hotly contested runoff, then-candidate Hyde-Smith hosted back-to-back events in Columbus and Meridian, Mississippi, according to videos obtained by The Daily Beast.”

MSNBC: “In Georgia, for example, where Republican officials at the state level continue to explore ways to make it more difficult to vote, legislators recently considered a measure that would prohibit early voting on Sundays. As part of the U.S. Senate’s debate over the Democrats’ ‘For the People Act,’ Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) yesterday condemned the thinly veiled proposal. ‘Why did the Georgia legislature only pick Sundays to say there should be no early voting on Sunday?’ Schumer asked. ‘We know why. It’s because that’s the day African Americans vote in the ‘Souls to the Polls’ operation where they go from church to vote. It’s despicable.’”

Republicans, citing debunked claims of widespread voter fraud, have continued their efforts in states across the country.

The Detroit News: “Michigan Senate Republicans unveiled 39 wide-ranging bills Wednesday to alter state election laws, targeting areas like absentee ballots and voter qualifications that were the focus of former President Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn his 2020 defeat. The proposals debuted 141 days after the Nov. 3 election, which prompted Trump’s supporters to make unproven and false claims of fraud. The GOP incumbent lost Michigan by 3 percentage points or 154,000 votes, but the effort among some Republicans to discredit the outcome continues.”

Daily Beast (Opinion): In a one-two punch of authoritarian maneuvering shocking in both its scope and its severity, Republicans are fighting to hollow out the right to vote for millions of Black and brown Georgians. And what they can’t take away in the state Senate, the GOP plans to gut with a new Trump-aligned secretary of state.

These efforts disproportionately impact voters of color and threaten to weaken American democracy.  

The Guardian: “But Republicans in the state legislature are capitalizing on the uncertainty driven by Trump’s false allegations and using it to justify aggressive new restrictions on the right to vote. One measure would allow for any citizen to bring unlimited challenges against another voter’s qualification, a procedure that has been used to target Black voters in the past in the state. And even though there was no evidence of absentee ballot fraud, Republicans have lined up behind a proposal that would impose additional ID document requirements on voters who cast a mail-in ballot, creating a new hurdle for the poor, minorities and the elderly who face significant challenges in obtaining ID.”

CNN: “With their drive to erect new obstacles to voting, particularly across the Sun Belt, Republicans are stacking sandbags against a rising tide of demographic change. […] Many analysts agree that the restrictions on voting proliferating in such states — and the prospect that many of them will also impose severe partisan gerrymanders before the 2022 elections — represent a race-against-time effort by Republicans to entrench their political advantage before it is eroded, or washed away entirely, by that approaching surge of demographic change.”