It took a tremendous political effort to remove Trump as president. And while it is comforting to think Trumpism will pass with the residence change on January 20th, there are many signs that some of the most dangerous ideas will linger on.
This is a trivial part of the voter suppression effort which is going on in Georgia right now. Trivial, because the Democrats were trying to make voting more accessible by expanding hours and locations and the Republicans shot it down, not really so terrible. But the wording here is important- “not allow opportunities for more fraud”. The notion is that simply giving more access increases the chances of fraud, despite the Republicans in the state repeatedly certifying the recent election results are fraud free. This is the lingering effect of the current president; any election result or dynamic (in this case more voters) that is undesirable to the Republican Party is “fraud”.
More disconcerting, Georgia is closing nearly half of the early voting polling stations in the third most populous county (when they closed very few others), a county which went to Biden in the general election.
Georgia has a long history of voter suppression. Stacey Abrams did not concede her loss as Governor of Georgia in 2018 because hundreds of thousands of people were purged from the voter rolls by her opponent Jack Kemp. Kemp was the Georgia secretary of state at the time and thus running the election which he was a candidate in. The Voting Rights act specifically prohibited these types of removals from voting rolls. Kemp purged 668,000 voters in the year before the election, because the US supreme court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights which are designed to stop voter suppression, especially of poor and POC voters, before it happened.
Do you want to have a king?
Earlier this week, 18 States challenged 4 swing states in an unprecedented legal challenge in an effort to overturn the certified election results, with 106 Republican members of the House of Representatives piling on. It is hard to overstate how damaging this is to our democratic culture and institutions. This is a last desperate effort to get these conclusive election results in front of the Supreme Court, in hopes that they will be loyal rather than legal.
Legal scholars agree and even many Republican elected officials agree that there is no legal basis for states to sue other states over their voting practices. In parallel with this, recently pardoned former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is demanding new elections be held overseen by the recently reorganized military. What could go wrong?
Happily for us all, this clumsy coup attempt failed. Even the heavily conservative Supreme Court (with 3 Trump appointees) recognized that this was a reach, and rejected it. “The State of Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.” It’s a sign of how far from normalcy the US election has gone that while this is the only legally sound decision that could have been made, it was still not a sure thing.
There is still work to do. The Georgia special election is only 24 days away. Voter suppression existed before Trump and will continue after he leaves office, but the work being done on the ground in Georgia to fight back will also continue. It’s been a long 4 years, but we need to keep fighting. To help, you can join our Georgia Air Team contact us at Flip2020Project@gmail.com, or financially support the efforts of our on the ground Georgia team via GoFundMe.