On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that although Republicans have introduced a hailstorm of new bills to restrict access to the vote in states that President Joe Biden won or nearly won in order to placate Trump voters, many GOP state lawmakers aren’t on board with this plan — afraid that it could blow up in their faces.
“Other Republicans in Georgia say making it harder to vote, without evidence of the problem they claim to be fixing, will prompt a dangerous backlash from Democrats and voting advocates,” reported Amy Gardner. “They say the effort is mostly for show, to appease the party’s most ardent Trump supporters, and they are pressing Republican legislative leaders to thwart passage of all but a few of the measures.”
“Their concern has grown sharply after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob echoing Trump’s rhetoric — which some Republicans say threatens to dominate the 2022 midterm cycle if they don’t find a way to move past it,” said the report. “Investigators for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the Justice Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found no evidence of widespread fraud, and the Fulton County district attorney is now investigating Trump’s efforts to subvert the state’s result.”
The GOP has particular turned its ire on mail-in voting, a practice both parties have historically used to equal benefit, but which was adopted more heavily by Democrats during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, Republicans in the Georgia state House released a lengthy voting bill that, among other things, would require people submit a photocopy of their ID to receive a mail-in ballot, restrict mobile voting buses in heavily Black and Democratic Atlanta, and eliminate early voting on the Sunday before Election Day — the traditional day for “Souls to the Polls” drives in Black churches. A separate bill in the state Senate would limit no-excuse mail-in voting to people over 75 — a restriction so draconian that it could prevent a lot of Republicans from voting as well.
And Georgia is not alone. Some 100 bills to change voting laws have been introduced around the country, including such battleground states as Arizona, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
“Even some Republican proponents of the measures have acknowledged that there is no evidence that widespread fraud or irregularities tainted the 2020 elections,” said the report. “Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a state Trump won by more than three points, said as much Friday as he announced a broad new proposal to curtail ballot drop boxes and limit so-called ballot harvesting, when third parties are permitted to collect and turn in absentee ballots.”
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