Opinion | Why the GOP's new voter suppression effort in Georgia is so alarming - The Washington Post

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  one month ago  •  29 comments

By:   Greg Sargent (Washington Post)

Opinion | Why the GOP's new voter suppression effort in Georgia is so alarming - The Washington Post
A massive rollback of voting access in Georgia hints at a terrible truth.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



It has become routine to observe that Republicans are responding to their 2020 loss by making it harder to vote wherever they possibly can. That's ominous: We're getting lulled into treating the GOP's ongoing radicalization against democracy as a normal feature of our politics, as just Republicans being Republicans.

We shouldn't let that happen. And a major new voter suppression push that Republicans have launched in Georgia provides another way to look at the bigger story here, a way to maintain appropriate alarm and urgency.

In short: The GOP's escalation of voter suppression isn't just a response to their loss. It should also be seen as a revanchist effort to strangle the ambitious — and popular — agenda that Democrats are undertaking to rescue the country from two of its biggest crises of the modern era.

It's no accident that the GOP's redoubled anti-democratic and anti-majoritarian efforts have come even as President Biden's $1.9 trillion rescue package is winning the support of large popular majorities. Indeed, for Republicans, the broad popularity of Biden's first big move is itself arguably making their plunge into anti-democratic radicalization more urgent.

In Georgia, Jim Crow is back


Georgia illustrates the point. Late Monday, the Georgia Senate passed a measure repealing no-excuse absentee voting for large numbers of voters, a remarkably radical reversal given the huge role vote-by-mail played in the last election.

This comes after the Georgia House passed a draconian package that would sharply cut back on drop boxes, which simply make voting by mail easier. It would also limit "souls to the polls" voting to one Sunday during early voting, an extraordinarily blatant effort to reduce the electoral impact of the African Americans who vote in great numbers after church.

As reporter Ari Berman put it: "Collectively, these bills represent the most sustained effort to roll back access to the ballot in Georgia since the Jim Crow era."

What's more, as organizer Stacey Abrams told Berman, the new push is "explicitly" designed to "block communities of color from active participation in choosing the leadership that will guide their democracy."

Importantly, this is underway in the state where Democratic victories in the two Senate runoffs are the very reason Biden's $1.9 trillion package will soon become law. A GOP-controlled Senate would have left us debating a package half its size or even smaller.

Why Georgia matters


It's in part because of the surprisingly high turnout of Democratic voters, a large percentage of them African Americans, that we'll get this package, with large stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, funding to speed vaccinations, financial assistance for health care and a groundbreaking child allowance.

Every congressional Republican voted against all this at a time of widespread deprivation, even as defeating the pandemic remains critical for national renewal. That, plus the fact that large majorities approve of Biden's handling of the pandemic and broadly support the rescue package's efforts to rise to the needs of the moment, aren't remotely denting GOP opposition.

Why? Part of the answer is what we're seeing in Georgia. Anti-majoritarian tactics could help insulate Republicans from accountability for opposing broadly popular policies, even if the Biden agenda succeeds.

Republicans give away the game


Republicans themselves are revealing this. One GOP activist in Georgia told CNN, "Republicans either stand for election security and integrity or they stand with Democrats."

That echoes what former president Donald Trump recently told a conservative conference: That standing for "election integrity" is "urgent" for Republicans.

"Election integrity," of course, really means reversing efforts to make voting easier and justifying this with Trump's lies about the election's illegitimacy, that is, making voting harder wherever possible. This is "urgent" for the GOP, and failing to do this helps Democrats.

And so the Georgia effort is being matched by Republicans all over the country. And Republicans are even boasting that extreme gerrymanders will help take back the House, halting Biden's agenda.

Not part of the conversation


It's hard to avoid the sense that many Republicans believe these tactics will help them recapture power even as the party broadly remains entirely outside the conversation about how to address major challenges facing the country.

We're now learning that Biden's covid relief bill could boost the income of the poorest fifth of earners by 20 percent, slash child poverty in half and allow millions of people to save hundreds of dollars in health-care costs. Yet Republicans are wandering the right-wing media desert, spinning wildly lurid tales about stimulus checks going to criminals and terrorists.

Of course, Republicans likely know their own voters won't blame them for their opposition to popular policies. They will get stimulus checks and vaccinations while hailing GOP lawmakers for fighting to stop the phantom excesses in the bill manufactured in the right-wing media universe.

But Republicans also know their anti-democratic tactics could go a long way toward helping recapture power.

As Richard Yeselson details in a good piece, this GOP posture has much deeper implications:

The country's political and economic order is experiencing acute and chronic crises. One of the two major parties has given up hope of winning over a majority of the country's voters.

As Yeselson concludes, the fact that the GOP has largely abandoned winning majorities, instead recommitting to anti-democratic tactics and exacerbating its anti-majoritarian structural advantages, itself looms as the chief obstacle to "a more just and egalitarian political system."

The stakes are tremendously high. And the voter-suppression underway in Georgia — the very state where voters just made an immensely ambitious response to our immediate crises possible — illustrates this with alarming clarity.


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JBB
PhD Principal
1  seeder  JBB    one month ago

Is it any wonder that the once Grand Old Party of Abraham Lincoln is now known merely as the gop?

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Senior Quiet
1.1  gooseisgone  replied to  JBB @1    one month ago
Is it any wonder that the once Grand Old Party of Abraham Lincoln is now known merely as the gop?

You say that like they just stopped using Grand Old Party last year. 

 
 
 
expatingb
Freshman Quiet
1.2  expatingb  replied to  JBB @1    one month ago

Are you asking that we not request identification to vote?   Can't we be as advanced as Mexico that has a national voter ID?

c) Photo-voting Card

The photo-voting card issued free of charge by the IFE to all citizens that have requested to be included in the electoral registry is an essential document to exercise the right to vote. In exceptional cases clearly foreseen by the law and for the purpose of voting within the national territory, a citizen who does not carry and show his/her photo-voting card on the day of the elections is not allowed to cast his/her vote.

In order to guarantee its reliability and inviolability, the IFE produces photo-voting cards using the information from the applications included in the Electoral Roll, in a centralized way and taking a number of security measures. The card is delivered to citizens about 20 days after submitting their application, and contains the following information:

  • State, municipal section and city, which correspond to the home address of the voter.
  • Electoral section where, as a rule, the voter living within the country should vote.
  • Full name, address, gender and age of the citizen.
  • Population Registration Code (CURP by its acronym in Spanish).
  • Year of issuing and expiration.

The issuing of the photo-voting card began near the end of 1991, and the security mechanisms that guarantee its inviolability have been gradually and systematically reinforced. After the legal reforms adopted by the end of 2007, photo-voting cards no longer have an unlimited validity, and in the future, they will only be valid for a period of ten years after which, a replacement must be requested. These reforms also establish the inclusion of the CURP.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  expatingb @1.2    one month ago

this article is just the author's opinion.

no big deal.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
1.2.2  Split Personality  replied to  expatingb @1.2    one month ago
 Can't we be as advanced as Mexico that has a national voter ID?

Apparently not.  States Rights prevail.  When the MVRA was enacted in 1993, 6 states were exempted, a dozen states sued.

While the results of the lawsuits established the constitutionality of the NVRA, the states are still responsible for voting laws and

IDs requirements in those states.

Voter ID ( with no photos (smh) ) were pioneered by South Carolina in the 1950s.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
1.2.3  Thrawn 31  replied to  expatingb @1.2    one month ago
Can't we be as advanced as Mexico that has a national voter ID?

It’s been suggested a few times but conservatives always start babbling incoherently about 1984 and shoot the proposal down.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
1.3  Greg Jones  replied to  JBB @1    one month ago

"Republicans either stand for election security and integrity or they stand with Democrats."

How true!   Voting can't get much more easy or convenient thanks to the Democrats gaming the system and breaking the established rules and regulations

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
1.3.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Greg Jones @1.3    one month ago

And yet virtually zero evidence of fraud. Seems to me any additional security measures are completely unnecessary.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
1.3.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Thrawn 31 @1.3.1    one month ago
And yet virtually zero evidence of fraud. Seems to me any additional security measures are completely unnecessary.

Republican evidence for fraud consists of, "we lost, therefore fraud", or even, "we ALMOST lost, therefore fraud".

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
1.4  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JBB @1    one month ago

GOP - Gross Old Pissants

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Junior Silent
1.5  SteevieGee  replied to  JBB @1    one month ago

They're gonna do this.  It's their MO.  The people of Georgia and any of the other many states where this is happening need to take action if they don't want their rights taken away by these democracy hating assoles.  You have almost 2 years to get ready.  First, get yourself unregistered or reregister Republican.  This is the year they'll be redrawing district lines so if they don't know your party affiliation it will make it harder to draw your vote into insignificance.  Get yourself a good ID.  Make sure you're reregistered next year.  Save up enough money for a few Uber rides and a day off.  Don't use up all your sick days so you can have election day off.  Bring a folding chair to the polls and don't forget some food and water.  (I've heard that GA has made it illegal to give someone water in line at the polls.)  Bring your gun if you need to.  DON'T LET THEM STEAL YOUR VOTE FROM YOU.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
1.5.1  Texan1211  replied to  SteevieGee @1.5    one month ago

wait, are you claiming the GOP took someone's right to vote away?

better call the Justice Dept.

 
 
 
GaJenn78
Sophomore Quiet
1.5.2  GaJenn78  replied to  SteevieGee @1.5    one month ago

I'm in Ga and I have always been offered bottled water and a snack while in line. Also, employers are required to allow time for voting on election day. I believe its 2 hours.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Junior Silent
1.5.3  SteevieGee  replied to  GaJenn78 @1.5.2    one month ago

The GOP in GA is trying right now to ban giving people water in line at the polls so next time you would do well to bring your own bottle.  The long waits to vote are also an intentional obstruction to voters.  Here in CA, where they don't have enough power to suppress voter rights, we don't have lines.  I've never waited more than about 10 minutes to vote.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2  Split Personality    one month ago

Offering Water and Snacks to Voters in Line May Be Outlawed in Georgia | Food & Wine (foodandwine.com)

offering water & food, pizza, etc to people waiting in line for hours in Georgia was routine.

Now they are implying that it's a gift or  a bribe and making it a misdemeanor.

Are you in your 60's or 70's without a drivers license in GA?  

If you cannot upload a drivers license or photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot you are out of luck.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
2.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Split Personality @2    one month ago

Re - The snack thing.   People should just bring their own.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
2.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Split Personality @2    one month ago
If you cannot upload a drivers license or photo ID when applying for an absentee ballot you are out of luck.

Not all that difficult to obtain a picture ID....if a person really wants to vote

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
2.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2    one month ago

they will even give you a voter ID for free!

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.2.2  Split Personality  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2    one month ago
Not all that difficult to obtain a picture ID....if a person really wants to vote

Could you please respond to what I wrote, instead of what you think I meant, it would be refreshing.

Do you, Greg, personally have the ability to "upload" a copy, picture or facsimile of an

existing drivers license to the internet site of your state, should they, like GA now require it for an absentee ballot.

The primary reason for an absentee ballot for anyone over 65 is health and access to the County Voting Offices.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
2.2.3  Greg Jones  replied to  Split Personality @2.2.2    one month ago

have the ability to "upload" a copy, picture or facsimile of an existing drivers license to the internet site of your state, should they, like GA now require it for an absentee ballot.

Yep! 

Or find someone to help if I didn't. Or someone to drive me to where I could obtain one.

If I really wanted to be able to legally vote

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.2.4  Split Personality  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.3    one month ago
Or find someone to help if I didn't. Or someone to drive me to where I could obtain one. If I really wanted to be able to legally vote

OK, glad to see you agree that it makes things more difficult, obstructing progress.

.

So explain to us how a photo ID will help ensure that the absentee ballot is filled out by the proper person?

How can the elections board use the photo ID to verify anything?

The whole point of using absentee ballots is not to go in person, but to mail it in.

The whole ID issue is nonsense as far as absentee ballots go.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Junior Silent
2.2.5  SteevieGee  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.3    one month ago

Interesting that they would accept a photo of a photo ID.  Seems easy to fake to me.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
2.2.6  Ozzwald  replied to  Split Personality @2.2.4    one month ago
So explain to us how a photo ID will help ensure that the absentee ballot is filled out by the proper person?

Especially since, once digitized, you photo can be changed to look like any one.  In fact, using any free graphic editing software, you can change anything at all on your drivers license, making it worse than not providing an ID.  Plus, the 1st time your state gets hacked, your ID is now out there for anyone to buy off the dark web.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.2.7  Split Personality  replied to  Ozzwald @2.2.6    one month ago

This will date me somewhat, but my first drivers license did not have a photo, it gave height & DoB, address.

Typewritten, like my library card and school ID.

Pretty useless.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
2.2.8  Ozzwald  replied to  Split Personality @2.2.7    one month ago
This will date me somewhat, but my first drivers license did not have a photo, it gave height & DoB, address.

My learner's permit was the same way.  However my 1st license has a picture, black and white, but still a picture.

giphy-gif.4159787

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
2.2.9  Split Personality  replied to  Ozzwald @2.2.8    one month ago

In PA when they finally got to photo IDs, they retained the old system for change of address licenses.

They were yellow paper and good until you needed a new photo ID.

Just dumb.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     one month ago

Since Trump couldn't ''find'' any votes to swing the election to him this is probably the next best thing.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
4  Thomas    one month ago

The states have the authority to make these distinctions as to eligibility, and as such, the legislatures of the several states do. We can whine about the distinctions that they make, but really, as long as they stay within the guidelines of the COTUS, there is not much that we can do directly about this. We can however, make sure that the most voters are properly registered and that they get the chance to vote. 

It is sad that we have to make up reasons and hoops for someone to navigate in order to have to vote, but over the past 20-30 years the Republican party has resonated with the majority of eligible voters and we now have the resultant of most state legislatures being controlled by Republicans, These Republicans have pushed the false narrative of voter fraud. The only way that I see to rectify the situation is to make sure that we have all eligible people registered properly before the next election. 

Everyone who wants to vote in the next election should make sure that they are registered. Period. If you cannot register, then you should make the reason why you cannot register known to your state representative. If you feel that you have been unfairly disallowed from registering, you should contact your local District Attorney, your State DA, your local board of elections, the State Comptroller, and any and all news outlets available to you. 

Don't be quiet. As it says in the Rush song, "Stick it out!"

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
4.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Thomas @4    one month ago
These Republicans have pushed the false narrative of voter fraud.
Well, the  Democrats for years have pushed the false narrative of voter suppression.

 
 
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