New Recipes for Stealing Elections
We know there’s hostility between our two political parties with conflict that’s beyond the pale, but the GOP has really gone over the top in finding ways to steal elections from the Democrats. I’m not even referencing the Trump debacle where it seems more and more likely that the Russians weighed in to help Putin’s buddy Donald win the presidential election to control Washington from the Kremlin. Hopefully, the Mueller probe will reveal the full extent of the Russian involvement.
But there’s so much sneakiness on a state level by the Republicans to win or control different offices. In North Carolina’s Ninth District for example, the GOP candidate Mark Harris was initially declared the winner by 905 votes in the recent election. Subsequently, it’s been learned that voluminous numbers of absentee ballots appear to have been harvested illegally by Harris’ team who went around collecting ballots from people who had requested them. Many had not been fully filled out and the same witnesses seem to have been used to validate many ballots. The election returns were thus obviously falsified. If North Carolina does not rescind the election and order a new one, Congress itself could refuse to seat Harris because of the questions about how he was supposedly elected.
North Carolina also engineered a new way to steal power from a newly elected Democratic governor, Roy Cooper in 2016. After he was elected but before he took office, the Republican legislature removed a number of functions from the governor’s office and allotted them to the legislature. The GOP governor at that time signed the bill transferring these powers to the legislature which remained in Republican hands. At the moment, the courts are still trying to decide how to resolve this naked theft of power from the Democratic governor. This theft is also being used as a model by the Wisconsin legislature and Governor Scott Walker who lost the governor’s race to a Democrat in 2018. Prior to the new governor taking office, the legislature and Walker are trying to curb the function and power of this newly elected official and handing them to the legislature which is still controlled by Republicans.
Voter ID laws have also been used in a number of Republican controlled states to disenfranchise Democratic minority voters. This tactic undoubtedly helped Governor Rick Scott beat Democrat Bill Nelson in the Senate race in Florida and also elected Ron DeSantis as governor. (Before Scott was elected governor of Florida, he had been CEO of Columbia/HCA Health Care which defrauded Medicare of $1.7 billion. He should have gone to prison instead of being elected governor and senator from Florida.)
One of the most disgusting thefts occurred in the Georgia governor’s race in 2018. Republican Brian Kemp, who was Georgia’s Secretary of State responsible for managing elections, was the GOP’s candidate for governor and refused to step down from his position before the election. In other words, he was managing an election in which he himself was running, denying there was any conflict of interest. Prior to the election, Kemp purged tens of thousands of voters from the rolls because they had not voted in the previous election. He also delayed registering 53,000 voters without notifying them. Both the purged group and the unregistered group were overwhelmingly black and in all likelihood would have supported Kemp’s opponent, Stacy Abrams, a Democrat who was also black. The vote totals were very close, below 2 percent. Chalk up another stolen election to the Republicans.
And of course there is the continuing problem with gerrymandering which gives Republicans extra seats in Congress and the state legislatures that they should not have received considering the vote totals in different states. This is legalized robbery in its most blatant form with judges reluctant to address it.
Actually, many of the problems with voting rights and stolen elections can be traced back to the conservative Supreme Court which suspended important clauses of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 2013. The Court said they were no longer necessary because there was no evidence of persistent bias prohibiting minorities from voting and that federal monitoring of the states that had impeded civil rights could be stopped. What world were the conservative Supreme Court Justices living in? As soon as the Court ruled, states controlled by biased Republicans passed various rules that suppressed voting by minorities and stole elections. Democracy in action.