the republican war on the vote

On March 30, Donald Trump chatted by phone, as he often did, with the hosts of the morning Fox News, “Fox and Friends”. At the turn of a question, he returns to one of the very first bills presented to the House of Representatives by the new Democratic majority, in January 2019, the For the People Act of 2019, which aimed to expand electoral participation. . “The things they put in there were crazy”, he assures. “If you ever accepted them, you would never have an elected Republican in this country again”, swears the President of the United States.

The supposed threat posed by the vote is denounced consistently by much of the American right. One of its most incisive strategists in the 1970s, Paul Weyrich, theorized it in 1980 in a tirade that has remained famous regularly cited today by the Democratic camp. “I don’t want everyone to vote. The elections are not won by a majority of the population. They never have been since our country’s beginnings and neither are they now. In fact, our influence in the elections, frankly speaking, is growing as [la participation] decreases “, he said at a rally of the religious right in 1980.

“Myth of fraud”

This old concern has been revived in recent years by the demographic transition underway in the United States. This development will turn the page, by the middle of the century, a predominantly white and Protestant population, whose conservative wing constitutes the Republican electoral base. This perspective explains the efforts made by the Grand Old Party to delay the deadline, well beyond the practice of “electoral slaughter” (“Gerrymandering”), shared by the two main American parties.

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This activism has long built on what the Brennan Center for Justice, a progressive public policy organization, calls “Fraud myth”, in a study published in 2007. It highlights the gap between the intensity of its denunciations by the Republican camp and the absence of facts to support a massive character. Protecting the integrity and legitimacy of the vote is the argument systematically advanced by Republicans to justify their screwing-up. They were supported in the “red” states by the American Legislative Exchange Council, an influence group funded in part by billionaires David (until his death) and Charles Koch.

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