Republicans in several states have passed legislation that will fine local election officials if they make it easier to vote.
Republicans are creating a new slate of punishments for the county officials who run elections, arguing they overstepped their authority when they expanded voter access during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new penalties, part of a nationwide Republican campaign to roll back access to the ballot, already have become law in Iowa, Georgia, and Florida, and are making their way through statehouses in Texas and elsewhere. The GOP push comes after a presidential contest that saw record turnout and no widespread problems.
Election officials have responded with warnings of a chilling effect on those responsible for administering the vote and counting ballots, raising fears they could be penalized for minor mistakes, get caught up in partisan fights or even leave their jobs.
Some of these laws fine local officials tens of thousands of dollars for unintentional mistakes. Others, like in Florida, have fines as high as $25,000 for the placement of ballot drop boxes.
These election rigging laws will hopefully be gutted by the courts, but if they aren’t the federal government needs to act both with the Department of Justice and congressional legislation.
Republicans aren’t trying to hide what they are doing. They want to make sure that 2020 never happens again by rigging elections to make it more difficult for voters who lean Democratic to vote.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association