Are GOP Efforts to Improve Election Security Effective?
Republican lawmakers are working desperately to improve voting security following the 2020 presidential election, when states abandoned traditional election procedures in the name of COVID-19.
Republicans claim Democrats made changes designed to facilitate voter fraud, though efforts to prove so have been defeated in court.
“[Voting laws are] definitely percolating as a more mainstream issue, but that’s because there were wholesale changes made without going through the legislative process, using COVID as the rationale for why,” explains Arizona State Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R). “The Democrats have misused, exploited, and politicized COVID to implement changes in elections that could never get passed otherwise.”
Lawmakers have introduced more than 400 election-related proposals since November 2020. According to New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, at least 30 bills designed to tighten voter access have been signed into law. And more than 50 bills making it easier to vote have been signed into law.
Many of the new laws target mail-in voting – including the number and location of ballot drop boxes, the amount of time a person has to request a mail-in ballot, and limitations on who can drop off another person’s ballot. Other laws affect early voting, absentee voting, voter ID requirements, signature verification rules, voter roll purges, conduct at polling stations, and the use of outside funding for election administration.
Nearly all of the new laws have been passed in GOP-majority states. As expected, Democrats have framed Republicans’ efforts to improve election security as political and racist.
“What is clear is that there is a wave of state laws that make it harder for Americans to vote, and in a really unprecedented manner,” argues Eliza Sweren-Becker, counsel to the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center. “This is reflecting a real concerted effort in states across the country to make it harder for Americans to vote, to carve Americans out of the electorate rather than politicians trying to win over those voters.”
Other Democrats claim the GOP effort is a response to Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.
“Republican elected officials do not like the results of 2020 and now they’re trying to change the rules of future elections,” claims Jena Griswold (D) Colorado’s Secretary of State. “In the middle of a pandemic, we had the securest election in America’s history with record turnout of both Democrats and Republicans. So elections work.”
What Griswold is failing to see here is that “record turnout” is likely to include fraud, especially considering the fact that 46% of 2020’s vote came by mail. Griswold is also failing to acknowledge that several voting overhauls signed into law include provisions that make it easier and safer to vote.
Republicans are doing a great job here. But it won’t matter how secure elections are in red states if blue and borderline states remain corrupt.
Elections are the foundation of democracy and thus must be conducted with the proper security. Unfortunately security is not possible without rules. This is why IDs and records are required when you apply for a job or bank loan, rent a car, or purchase a house. These things are far less important than a presidential election and yet require more paperwork.
In most cases, Americans have months or years to prepare for a given election. This is more than enough time to comply with any voting restrictions or requirements.