Picture this: Democrats at the state level, who have a huge majority in this state, pass a measure regarding voting. They are weary of little Calaveras County continually electing Republicans to office. In the guise of “voter fraud,” they decide to make some changes to how Calaveras has elections.
First, those devious Democrats decide that since Calaveras only has a bit over 40,000 people, only two polling stations are needed—let’s say one in Arnold and one in Valley Springs. You need to drive to get there. Long lines form. It takes hours to vote in person and, in June, the temperatures soar into the 90s. If someone hands you a bottle of water or a snack, they can be arrested. They make it harder to vote by mail. Everyone needs a driver’s license or some state identification. And, no, grandpa, you can’t use your Medicare card for an I.D. If you want to register to vote, it is against the law to mail an application to you. Most drop boxes are eliminated. Voting on election day closes at 5 p.m., just when a lot of workers come home. Election workers will also be required to count ballots without stopping until they’re finished. How many people can go 72 hours without sleep? I guess we’ll find out.
Once the election is finished, Democratic state officials can come in and take over our local election boards. Our county clerk is sidelined. They can overturn the election if they don’t like it. Republican Tom McClintock is finally defeated in a close race. Democratic supporters of the state measure say we have finally protected election integrity.
Are you upset yet?
In 43 states, Republicans have introduced over 250 bills to restrict voting. Let’s just call it what it is: voter suppression. It is supposed to be all about fraud, except there wasn’t enough fraud to spit into a spittoon. In Georgia, Republicans have taken control of the election away from Secretary of State Raffensperger. Remember him? Although a Republican, he was the one who certified that Biden won the Georgian election. He refused to “find” 12,000 votes for Trump. He assured us there was negligible fraud. One example was that they found two “dead people” who voted in the entire state—and that was for Trump.
What about all the other fraud? We need to stop the steal, right? Former President Trump had all those lawyers claiming all this fraud was going on. His lawyer Sidney Powell was going to “release the Kraken.” Funny how a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems has clarified and sharpened her memory. She previously claimed that Dominion was part of an international communist plot to steal the 2020 presidential election. She moved to dismiss the lawsuit by arguing that “no reasonable person would conclude” that her statements about a scheme to rig the election “were truly statements of fact.”
In other words: she lied to the public. According to her defense, those people that believed her and stormed the capitol were not only unreasonable but stupid.
So, no fraud. Then why are Republicans suppressing voting? To stay in power. An Arizona official admitted it. If they can’t win the election the old-fashioned way, they will win any way they can. It’s sort of like Jim Crow 2.0. For those of you too young to remember, Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. They suppressed Blacks from voting. But it was a lot more than that. Try to vote and your life could be in danger. Or maybe your house might suddenly burn down. Or you got lynched. Back in those days, it was Democrats in the Deep South doing the suppressing. Now Republicans have taken over that mantle.
Voter suppression has never been about fraud. It’s about power. It’s the opposite of democracy.
Democrats in Congress are trying to pass the For the People Act. Surprisingly, it has the support of 56% of Republicans, and no surprise, 77% of Democrats. It will make most of these voter suppression bills by the Republicans illegal. It will make it easier to vote while keeping the election secure. Republicans in Congress are against it. Maybe they see the writing on the wall? Senator Ted Cruz said, “This bill is the single most dangerous bill this committee has ever considered.” He claimed it would give Democrats power for 100 years. Not surprisingly, some Democrats claim that Republican voter suppression will give them power for 100 years.
Perhaps, instead of suppressing people from voting, Republicans should try to have ideas that would attract and encourage more voters to vote for them. What a concept!
Don Urbanus is a resident of Valley Springs.