The GOP Attack on Free Voting Exercise

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Photo courtesy of advancementproject.org

The debate has been canceled, the president appears to be “immune” to COVID-19, and several parts of the country have already begun the voting process. The 2020 elections seem to be a dizzying scenario with a high risk of failure.

And it seems that the most fearful are precisely the Republicans.

Although the first rule of elections is “don’t believe the polls,” the figures reported over the past few weeks are nothing short of alarming for President Donald Trump and his disgraced party.

As reported by USA Today, after Trump announced his coronavirus infection, Democratic candidate Joe Biden maintained his lead in the polls in 10 of the 11 swing states and widened his lead in seven of them, including large numbers in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Nationally, the former vice president rose by two percentage points, adding to his lead of more than 10 points, based on the media’s average that includes polls calculated by RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight.

According to Pew Research Center estimates, this means that today, on average, Biden leads Trump by 52.1% versus 42.0%.

If we compare the situation with the 2016 scenario, the difference does not seem to be much, considering Hillary Clinton, at this point, was leading the race by about six percentage points. The difference this year is the massive voter turnout seen in all early voting locations.

According to NBC News, in states like Georgia, where early voting began Monday, waiting lines were at least an hour in some polling places, which election officials have described as “a record-high turnout.”

Waits were even longer at the principal Cobb County polling place in Marietta, with some voters telling the local NBC affiliate that they had been online for more than five hours.

Although state government officials assured The Associated Press that they had prepared “as much as we could,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded that the chaos at the polls was due to high turnout, not a lack of preparation.

Kristen Clarke, president and CEO of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a civil rights group, had called the primary “a catastrophe.” At the time, Raffensperger, a Republican, called for an investigation into the issues.

Nearly 2.4 million voters turned out for the June primary, a record.

Local election officials said there weren’t any significant issues with the state’s cumbersome voting machines Monday, but noted unusually high turnout, NBC continued.

While Democrats have recommended early voting and mail voting where possible, the president and his cronies have insisted that it could lead to fraud, with no proof in hand.

Researchers at the University of California, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Chicago did demonstrate in 2019 is that residents of all-black neighborhoods tend to wait 29% longer to vote and are 74% more likely to spend more than 30 minutes voting.

Similarly, non-white voters are seven times more likely than white voters to wait in line for more than an hour to vote, according to a 2017 study by Stephen Pettigrew of the University of Pennsylvania, a senior analyst with the NBC News Decision Desk. The reason, the study concluded, is because election officials send more resources to white precincts.

“Waiting in a line makes you less likely to turn out in subsequent elections,” Pettigrew said earlier this year, citing his research on that issue.

And as for absentee voting, which is less trusted by voters of color, NBC continues, it is counterproductive because black voters’ votes are more likely to be rejected than those of white voters.

Considering that communities of color are more likely to vote Democratic, the strategy of Republican states is clear.

The ‘Confuse-and-Rule’ Strategy

Among the deeply Democratic states with high participation of communities of color is California, where the GOP has resorted to the most aggressive strategy yet: the placement of unauthorized ballot boxes in several counties.

According to The Guardian, the Republican Party has placed fake ballot boxes in Fresno, Los Angeles, and Orange counties in places such as political party offices, campaign headquarters, and churches.

Hector Barajas, a spokesman for the party, pointed to a state law that allows a third party to collect voters’ ballots. Republicans have long decried the law.

“In California, where you can have convicted felons and individuals with a criminal history go door to door and collect ballots from voters, Democrats are now upset because organizations, individuals and groups are offering an opportunity for their friends, family, and patrons to drop off their ballot with someone they know and trust,” Barajas said in the statement.

“The Democrat anger is overblown when state law allows organizations, volunteers, or campaign workers to collect completed ballots and drop them off at polling places or election offices.”

For Secretary of State Alex Padilla, setting up a fraudulent mailbox is a serious crime and puts the security of the vote at risk.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the only mailboxes allowed are those authorized by county election officials, who are responsible for ensuring that the boxes are tamper-proof and that there is a chain of custody when ballots are collected.

These mail ballot boxes are also unnecessary. For example, Orange County has more than 100 ballot boxes that are available 24 hours a day until voting ends at 8 p.m. on November 3. Los Angeles County has more than 400 secure ballot boxes installed by the registrar-registrar. Each ballot mailing includes a list of mailboxes near the voter’s address. And, of course, voters can put their ballots in a mailbox, give them to their mailman or hand-deliver them at the polls.

Voters can also track their ballot online, so they know exactly when it is received and counted.

“The problem is that the misinformer in chief has sowed distrust in the state’s election system and in mail-in ballots in general (despite the fact that, as a registered voter in Florida, President Trump has been casting his vote by mail while living in the White House),” the Times added.

A ‘Gentle’ Visit

While the president praises militias that threaten voters and criticizes governors who are victims of plots and kidnapping attempts, White terrorist groups have also decided to play along.

According to The Independent, Joe Biden supporters in Tennessee have seen signs of support manipulated and have received multiple “business cards” signed by the Ku Klux Klan.

The cards carried a statement threatening a second visit and read: “You have been paid a social visit by the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Don’t make the next visit a business call.”

In short, the Republican Party and its supporters are so sure they will lose the election that they have resorted to the most insane and desperate measures to win the election.

There is only one solution: VOTE.