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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Steal the vote

 Trump might have won had Georgia's new election law been enacted last November.

Tucked inside the new Georgia elections law is a measure that shifts a significant amount of election oversight power from the secretary of state and county election boards to the legislature. The measure removes the elected secretary of state as chair of the state election board and replaces him or her with an appointee of the Republican-run legislature.  

Such a coincidence! Just a few months after Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says “no” to magical vote-finding, the legislature takes a chunk of power and authority from his office and shifts it to someone of their choosing — and, we can only assume, more likely to do their bidding. 

Overall, as the New York Times reports, GOP legislators in at least eight states are pushing bills that would take election oversight power away from secretaries of state, governors and nonpartisan election boards, and turn it over to legislatures. 

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

It is a very interesting time in recent history whether it changes the country or reenforces its prior trajectory remains to be seen. At present the Republican Party is flailing with their most popular leader more or less off line. The Republican pols. know they have to tow the line for Trump as he has great power and may have intentions to use it. So they engage in vote suppression efforts (which could succeed for them). Also they are pushing culture war issues around peripheral issues like Mr. Potato Head as they wait for Democrats to dig their own graves.

Democrats lead by Biden are taking a big gamble with the power they have in pushing what is looking a lot like a resurrected (just in time for Easter) New Deal.

I think there is something good for the country in all this. That is, the Republicans provided a pretty clear example of what they are pushing for -- A return to the values and legal system of the 1920s with a more laissez faire economic system that has no social welfare component and of course more protection from minorities who they feel are privileged and pampered. On the other side Biden is pressing, effectively so far, for a return to the idea that government has an important and constructive role in aiding the economy through direct spending as well as some active intervention for underprivileged groups. This approach could succeed by reinvigorating the economy and reducing inequality and if it does it could have transformational effects on the society. Conversely, it is a big risk and if it falters through bad design or administration and more importantly if it goes down in flames in an uncontrollable long term bout of inflation it could cement the Republican Party as the ruling party for a long time. The good thing I see is that this sets up a referendum in 3 1/2 years for the public. They get do decide which way we go. If the Democrats succeed the groundwell will probably overwhelm voter suppression. However if they fail the structural advantages like gerrymandering that Republicans have are likely to drown the dems in coming election cycles.

As Roberts article says "we report and you decide".