A new analysis from the Washington Post today lays out how Republican attacks on the right to vote “could create hurdles for tens of millions of voters” while leading to “the most sweeping contraction of ballot access in the United States since the end of Reconstruction.”
The report breaks down how Republicans’ nationwide push to restrict voting rights “are likely to disproportionately affect those in cities and Black voters in particular, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic.” These attacks on the ballot box come as these same state legislators are “echoing Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen from him.”
But the GOP’s bills are also “causing some angst inside the party” itself while “some worry that support for the measures could hurt lawmakers in competitive districts.” One Georgia GOP strategist even admitted the bills were part of a plan “to placate Trump loyalists and avoid a primary challenge” that backfired as legislation has now passed out of the House and Senate.
Georgia’s main voter suppression bills — HB 531 and SB 241 — include provisions that would drastically chip away at Georgians voting rights. HB 531 would lead to longer lines and limit weekend voting while SB 241 would end no-excuse absentee voting — and both bills would place new burdensome and unnecessary ID requirements on Georgia voters.
Read more from the Washington Post about how Republicans are trying to roll back voting rights in Georgia:
Washington Post: How GOP-backed voting measures could create hurdles for tens of millions of voters
By Amy Gardner, Kate Rabinowitz and Harry Stevens
- The GOP’s national push to enact hundreds of new election restrictions could strain every available method of voting for tens of millions of Americans, potentially amounting to the most sweeping contraction of ballot access in the United States since the end of Reconstruction, when Southern states curtailed the voting rights of formerly enslaved Black men, a Washington Post analysis has found.
- In 43 states across the country, Republican lawmakers have proposed at least 250 laws that would limit mail, early in-person and Election Day voting with such constraints as stricter ID requirements, limited hours or narrower eligibility to vote absentee, according to data compiled as of Feb. 19 by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice.
- Republicans are proposing solutions in states where elections ran smoothly, including in many with results that Trump and his allies did not contest or allege to be tainted by fraud.
- The measures are likely to disproportionately affect those in cities and Black voters in particular, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic — laying bare, critics say, the GOP’s true intent: gaining electoral advantage.
- In Georgia, for example, the House has passed a sweeping bill that would limit early-voting hours on weekends and restrict the use of drop boxes for mail ballots, among other provisions.
- The state Senate, meanwhile, approved a measure that would eliminate no-excuses absentee voting altogether — limiting eligibility to those ages 65 and over, people with disabilities or those who will be away from home on Election Day.
- “Long lines are going to be the story of 2022 unless something is done,” said Democratic elections lawyer Marc Elias, who said he is preparing for a “busy year” of litigation if these laws are enacted.
- “If Republicans truly wanted to increase confidence in elections, they would stop saying, ‘Don’t trust the elections,’ ” [political scientist Michael] McDonald said.
- The Republican-backed bills are causing some angst inside the party, as some worry that support for the measures could hurt lawmakers in competitive districts.
- One GOP strategist in Georgia, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal party strategy, said state Republican leaders gave lawmakers “the green light to drop whatever bill they wanted” to placate Trump loyalists and avoid a primary challenge.
- That is forcing Republican lawmakers from more competitive districts to choose their poison: risk a primary challenge by voting against the measures, or risk a general-election challenge if they support them.