Voting and the integrity of our election are truly a critical part of our democracy, and the Democrats and Republicans have two competing narratives with regard to this topic. Democrats believe that Republicans want to suppress votes, particularly for people of color, as a primary way to gain or hold political power. Republicans, on the other hand, believe that voter fraud is a serious problem that poses a real threat to the integrity of our elections. Who’s right? That’s what I want to answer in this thread. Primarily, I want to collect evidence for both narratives. Now, I have already been reading about this topic, and let me say upfront that the evidence for voter fraud being a serious problem seems scant, while the evidence for voter suppression, in my view, seems far more compelling. Before I begin, I should acknowledge if one or both narratives proves true, they are legitimately serious problems–problems that would demand some corrective action.
13 thoughts on “Voter Fraud Vs. Voter Suppression”
A Michigan Republican spent eight months searching for evidence of election fraud, but all he found was lies. from theAtlantic
That (Michigan) Republican, Ed McBroom, is whom Tim Alberta (who has worked for the National Review) profiled in this article. McBroom and his committed spent several months investigating voter fraud claims in Michigan, which…
Here’s an interview with the reporter of the story, Tim Alberta:
MIchigan judge’s harsh ruling on Trump lawyers.
(Apropos to the thread on “bad faith,” what Trump lawyers tried to do in Michigan is an example of extreme bad faith.)
Rick Hasen, who I believe is an expert in election law, and Ian Bassin,from Protect Democracy, don’t offer a lot of evidence (I don’t think) for their concerns that Republicans will try to steal future elections, but I’m putting this here as a record of their positions.
On a side note, I worry a little when people like Hasen and Bassin publicly worry that Republicans will steal the next election. Saying this undermines the faith in the next election. It’s similar to what Trump and Republicans did/are doing.
What’s crucial here is the evidence and arguments behind these claims. I won’t list them all, but I want to mention one that supports the Hasen’s and Bassin’s claims. In several states, Republicans are changing voting laws. Democrats claim this makes voting harder, and will hurt those who traditionally vote for Democrats. I’ve also heard that some of the changes will give state legislatures more power to overturn votes. (I think Hasen mentions that in the clip above.) Ultimately, the Republicans are changing voting laws–that is not in question. The reasons they cited for these changes have to do with protecting the elections from fraud. Also, they claim that many voters don’t trust the elections. These changes are ostensibly supposed to increase the trust in the electoral process.
Here is the rebuttal for those two claims:
On the last point, I’ll close with Sen. Mitt Romney speech on 1/6, when the Senate was deciding to accept the electoral votes. Several Republicans did not vote to accept these votes, and Romney was urging them to do so. The part that stuck out for me, and is more salient to this pots is Romney’s remarks about voters who don’t accept the results of the election. Romney rightly says that no Congressional audit will convince them Biden won legitimately. He says the best way to address these voters, the best way to show respect to them, is by telling them the truth. That’s the burden and duty of leadership, he says. And the truth is that President Biden won the election.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appoints former Trump attorney to top elections role from WaPo
Put this on the side of those who worry that state Republicans will try to install people who will not handle the election with integrity. Here’s some details about the new appointee:
It’s important to note that Scott withdrew, which could be seen in a positive way. However, consider this tidbit from the article:
My sense is that competent, good faith lawyers would not take on such a case to begin with, and this quote reinforces that impression.
Finally, if the GOP genuinely cared about restoring trust in the elections, they would not appoint a lawyer who challenged the election results. Scott could oversee the election in competently and responsibly, but because of his association with Trump’s legal challenges, voters will have some basis to question his role in future elections.
More Trump-y candidates for Secretaries of State positions in three states. And a warning from Tim Snyder.
Wisconsin Republicans are pushing to take over the state’s elections from bipartisan commission from the Chicago Tribune (originally in the NYT).
Related, but tangential note regarding Sen. Johnson’s baseless claim, see The Pattern of GOP Voter Fraud from theBulwark
Trump allies work to place supporters in key election posts across the country, spurring fears about future vote challenges from WaPo
Texas mail ballot rejections soar under new restrictions
from AP News
On a lighter note, here’s one of the few examples of actual voter fraud I’ve read about. The few I’ve read about, 1-2 cases, have been people illegally voting for Trump.
The Trump team and Fox News alleged dead voters. Most cases were either debunked or actually involved Republicans. analysis by Aaron Blake in WaPo
Blake reviews 11 cases specifically mentioned by Trump associates or on Fox News.
He also makes a key point:
Meanwhile the U.S. Senate declines to bring the voter rights legislation up for debate, again.
Because of Senate Republicans. And my understanding is that this is a bill Senator Manchin adjusted, in an attempt to win over Senate Republicans.
It’s these sorts of events that highlight which parties are operating in good faith. (Can anyone think of an example of Republicans doing something that shows they’re operating in good faith, while also exposing the bad faith of Democrats? I genuinely want to hear examples of this–because right now I can only think of examples of the Democrats exposing GOP bad faith.)
On a related note, I read an op-ed by Michael Gershon, a WaPo conservative columnist, in which he complained about the lack of urgency from Democrats regarding voting rights. He argued they should be acting more vigorously if they really believed the issue was an emergency.
I do think the issue is dire, but I also think the Democrats must show they are being reasonable, and also expose Republicans when they are behaving in an unreasonable–or event partisan or unpatriotic way. To me, this is really important–particularly for moderates and independents–at least it’s important to the independent writing this now.
These kinds of actions are going to justify taking more drastic steps in my view, and lessen the sense that it was strictly a partisan move.
Trump campaign paid researchers to prove 2020 fraud but kept findings secret by Josh Dawsey in WaPo
The report Trump paid for confirms what pretty much everyone (other than Trump and his supporters) has been saying. The report was never released, because it didn’t support Trump’s claims.
Speaking of keeping findings secret–that debunks election fraud claims (in Arizona): Arizona’s top prosecutor concealed records debunking election fraud claims from WaPo
Interesting–Brnovich initially denounced Trump’s claims that he won: