If you want Baby Trump to go full diaper rash, mention an alternative to risking one’s life at the polls.
Rash was the word when Trump threatened Michigan and Nevada with losing federal funds when they took steps to make it possible for more people to vote safely in the Pandemic Election.
Oh, my, the tantrum. Bring the talcum.
Trump called it the “Great Voter Fraud scenario.”
Really? Michigan and Nevada would call it the Safe-Voting Scenario.
So do Colorado, Washington, Hawaii, Utah and Oregon, which have vote-by-mail systems in place.
Many others states are moving in that direction, or at least moving to liberalize their processes to allow more voters to participate by mail.
Set aside the fact that Trump’s blast aimed at Michigan was false. Michigan didn’t “illegally” send out mail-in ballots. It sent out applications.
(Side note: What a great advertisement for Michiganders to fill out that application. Well-played, Sir. So much accomplished in one Tweet.)
Let’s focus on the blather that brands vote by mail as ripe for fraud.
I vote by mail. Colorado has been doing it for years. In the 2016 election it found only 48 cases of fraudulent voting out of 3 million votes cast. Put that in your pipe, Mr. Partisan Schemer, and smoke it at a safe distance away from me.
Demonizing vote-by-mail (which Trump and Melania have done absentee from Florida) is just one more front in the Republican Party’s endless war on voter participation.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has a serious case of posterior redness over a federal court ruling that could make it possible for all Texans to vote by mail.
U.S. District Judge Fred Biery expressed concerns about the safety of voters and said the right to vote “should not be elusively based on the whims of nature.”
Texans of all ages should be offended that their duly elected representatives would risk voters’ lives to hew to debunked concerns about mail-in ballots.
Of course, such issues have never been the Republican Party’s true concern. They have turned to any trick in the book to tamp down voting, in particular to keep marginalized people from voting.
So-called voter I.D. laws are demonstrably aimed at this very objective.
U.S. District Judge Nelda Gonzales Ramos ruled in 2017 that Texas’ strict voter I.D. requirements discriminated against black and brown voters.
Paxton’s hind quarters grew damp about that ruling as well. The thing is, Republicans really can’t argue that their voter I.D. designs discriminate against the poor and people of color. That’s their whole objective.
Thus far, however, a Supreme Court that effectively has ceded voting rights to the states has remained true to the notion that elected officials can rig the game to their benefit, whether the matter be vote suppression or gerrymandering.
Trump has acknowledged that lower turnout is his friend, and a higher turnout may return him to his previous career of branding scams and reality TV.
Trump claimed that mail-in ballots “for some reason don’t work out for Republicans.” Again, nothing in the track record of mail-in voting that bears that out.
In 2014 Colorado elected Republican Cory Gardner to the U.S. Senate via those horrible mail-in ballots. (Because Gardner has been a dutiful rubber stamp for the immensely unpopular Trump, Colorado is likely to retire him in November, but don’t blame mail-in ballots.)
There’s no secret to all of this. Republicans know that when more people vote it benefits the Ds. When fewer people vote, it benefits the Rs.
I would love to be proven wrong and see the Rs act in ways to increase voting by people of every stripe.
However, when its power is on the line, trust the Republican Party to never err on the side of democracy.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.