When it comes to winning elections, there are a few strategies you can use to win – one is to turn out your base and appeal to independents, another is to drive up voter registration, while offering a broadly popular platform that you promise to help enact if elected. Of course, the GOP, despite its tendency to show concern about who votes in yearly elections, has decided to ignore all three strategies – instead deciding that only the people its leadership wants to vote should be the only people permitted to vote every year.
Among the most common claims of Republican politicians are accusations that millions of people vote illegally in each election, even though the very few documented cases of people voting illegally tend to be voting Republican. This has led them to come up with voter ID laws that do very little to avert a largely non-existent problem but work pretty well at disenfranchising the people who are the least likely to vote for the GOP. The same is true of their attacks on voting by mail which they claim makes it easier for people to vote illegally. Of course, they’ll never readily admit this – at least in public.
Unfortunately, their discourse in private has been a whole other matter for a long time. Only, now it’s also not so private either. A text exchange between State Sen. Joe Gruters (R-FL) and State House Rep. Blaise Ingoglia showed their open concern about the 2022 outcomes if they can’t shorten the period for requesting mail-in ballots, warning that their party could be decimated. There’s a good chance that this could hurt voter suppression laws going forward while strengthening support for the Senate to pass voting rights legislation, but what it says for sure is that the GOP is deeply worried about our ability to organize and turn out in droves once again in 2022. Let’s make sure we do it.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making