Now watch Republicans seek more restrictions on voting

Smarting from Trump’s loss, and feeling their culture is under siege, Republicans will act in states they still control to make it harder to vote. Tightening ID laws, restricting mail voting, and banning drop boxes will be major goals.

This isn’t speculative; they’re already laying groundwork in states like Georgia, where GOP legislators have announced plans to “ban drop boxes and repeal the state’s law allowing any voter to cast a mail ballot,” CNN reported on Monday, December 14, 2020.

In addition, Georgia Republicans, angry at the state’s top election official (a Republican) for not backing Trump’s spurious fraud claims, intend to amend the state constitution to change that elective office into a legislative appointee (presumably to make election administration more partisan). And In Texas, where Democrats are steadily making inroads, “Republicans have already announced a raft of proposals to tighten access to voting,” CNN said. (Read story here.)

By “culture” I mean white culture. And after four years of Trump’s domination, the GOP is now a full-blown white supremacist party. Aided by Supreme Court conservatives who gutted the Voting Rights Act, they’re doubling down on suppressing black voters. (Trump suffered steeper declines in white suburbs, but Republicans are going after the black electorate anyway.)

As I’ve written before on this blog, here, Republicans consider allowing blacks to vote “fraud” and votes cast by black voters as “fraudulent.” This isn’t just racist; it’s a contest for racial domination. The facts leave no room for doubt:

” … [T]he fact that Trump is exempting … well-educated, affluent and Whiter places from his allegations of fraud reveals how his charges against the big urban centers rest on a foundation of racist signaling. ‘They are directly attacking Black voters and voters of color that live in these cities,” says [Vin] Gupta. ‘And I think the comparison of cities versus neighboring counties demonstrates the degree to which this is in a lot of ways reminiscent of Jim Crow voting exclusions, where they are seeking after the fact to undermine or discount Black voters.’
“One judge on the Wisconsin Supreme Court made the same point … when Trump attorneys challenged the ballots in … the state’s two largest urban centers. Judge Jill Karofsky told Trump lawyers, ‘In your lawsuit what you have done here is target the vote of 250,000 people — not statewide, but in two of our 72 counties that have diverse populations, because they are urban, and because they vote Democratic. This lawsuit … smacks of racism.'”
(From the CNN article linked above.) That lawsuit, like virtually all the rest, was thrown out. (Trump and the GOP are batting 1-for-58 in election lawsuits in 2020.) Karofsky is a Democrat, but the Wisconsin court has a conservative majority, and even Republican judges aren’t on board with that agenda anywhere in the country. But while the judicial bulwark remained intact this time, the GOP base has already left the reservation, and,

“This is unlikely to be the last time that much of the GOP decides the basic rules of democracy are dispensable — if that’s what it takes to resist the fundamental demographic, cultural and economic changes … that so many Republican voters fear will eclipse them.”

That’s sure to bring renewed efforts to attack the urban vote, and in particular the black vote. If Democrats win Senate control next month in Georgia’s runoff election, one of their first and highest priorities should be enacting a new federal voting rights law — one that guarantees access to the ballot box and outlaws the most pernicious GOP voter suppression tactics. A good starting place is codifying into federal law the provisions of the 1981 restraining order against the GOP that expired this year. But that won’t be enough; what’s need is legislation that protects everyone’s voting rights, in every states, all the time.

Photo: In 2020, the Trump administration removed mailboxes and dismantled mail processing machines to sabotage mail voting. 

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