“Election fraud” is fraud. The suppression of voters is the real danger.
Michael K. Cantwell
Despite the dismissal of over 60 lawsuits (many by Republican judges) for lack of evidence, and despite certification of the vote in every state (many by Republican election officials), two-thirds of Republicans believe the 2020 election has been stolen.
Ex-President Trump’s Big Lie is not just a consequence of his constant onslaught of lies, starting with the patently false claim that the rain stopped and the sun came out when it started. his inaugural speech. It also resonates with Republicans because GOP leaders have been spitting out a more malicious lie for decades that “voter fraud” is rampant and threatens our democracy.
There is simply no empirical evidence of voter fraud, despite decades of Republican efforts:
A commission that Trump established to “prove” that he “won” the popular vote in 2016, led by former Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has been dissolved without finding any proof of electoral fraud.
A crackdown under former President George W. Bush found no evidence of organized electoral fraud. The 120 cases it identified nationwide over a five-year period resulted in less than one incident per state, every two years.
The Conservative Heritage Foundation’s “electoral fraud database” trumpeted “1,296 proven cases of electoral fraud”. Their database dates back over 20 years. This equates to one case of electoral fraud per state per year.
The threat to our democracy is not voter fraud – it is voter fraud fraud. Republican leaders are using a non-existent threat to pass voter suppression laws because they understand they cannot compete on an equal footing.
According to the Brennan Center, 14 states have passed laws restricting access to voting since the start of the year, including the SB90 in Florida. Currently, 12 states have enacted laws to make postal voting more difficult, eight states have made in-person voting more difficult, and 18 states have similar bills under consideration. Overall, Republicans have introduced at least 389 restrictive bills this year in 48 states.
These laws are despicable and undemocratic. If, as expected, they allow Republicans to win back Congress in the mid-term of 2022, the overthrow of our democracy that we narrowly avoided on November 3, and then again on January 6, will only have been postponed.
Michael K. Cantwell is President of the Delray Beach Democratic Club