There is no way quicker way to destroy democracy, with greater efficiency, than to introduce distrust regarding the integrity of the elections. Last night, Ron Johnson encouraged his voters to vote early if the county clerk is a Republican. Obviously, Johnson is already setting up a situation where he is casting doubt on early voting in heavily Democratic counties, especially Milwaukee County, where Trump and the MAGAs most strongly contested Biden’s margin of victory:
From The Heartland Signal:
During a tele-town hall, Ron Johnson said that he only recommends early voting if you have a Republican county clerk running elections, casting doubt on Milwaukee County’s Democratic clerk.
“I would recommend early voting particularly if you have a Republican election clerk,” Johnson said when a caller asked if she should vote early. “I’m not sure I’d recommend a Republican go vote in Milwaukee; I just don’t know about the bipartisan observation of those early votes. It might be possible.”
What he did not mention in the town hall was his involvement with the plot to deliver a fake list of electors to then-Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021. Despite his shaky past with election integrity, Johnson continued to lambast Democrats on the issue.
Similar to Pennsylvania, Johnson is in a very tight race with popular Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, who has run a strong campaign. Barnes is a black man running in a state that is a nearly 50-50 mix of rural versus metro areas. Milwaukee and Madison comprise the two big blue dots in a state that is otherwise red from border to border. By casting doubt on the integrity of Milwaukee’s county clerk, Johnson is laying the groundwork to once again call into question early voting in Milwaukee, the state’s biggest city and area with the highest percentage of Black Americans. To make matters worse, Black Americans and Democrats generally are more inclined to cast their vote early because voting lines in urban-poor districts tend to be longer.
This was not a slip of the tongue. Nationwide, Republicans have pushed “same day voting” as somehow more trustworthy (While, bizarrely, saying paper ballots are the gold standard). It sets up a familiar dynamic. Republicans jump to an early lead based on election day votes, and then Democrats gain ground over the next day as early ballots are counted. If the pattern holds, we will hear GOP claims that the fact that counting early ballots takes more time ipso facto makes them unreliable.
If Ron Johnson loses by less than 20,000 votes, expect almost immediate lawsuits directed at the Milwaukee County Clerk’s office and endless accusations and anecdotes.
At the risk of sounding melodramatic, this is how democracy dies.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact with any concerns.