ABC News: ‘A direct response’: How Trump’s 2020 loss is dictating the future of elections in battleground states
ABC News: 'A direct response': How Trump's 2020 loss is dictating the future of elections in battleground states
As Republican state lawmakers across the country wage what critics are calling the most sweeping voter suppression campaign since the Jim Crow era, two notable swing states have been spared the onslaught of proposed legislation.
In Ohio and North Carolina, where former President Donald Trump triumphed in November, the GOP-controlled legislatures seem content to maintain the status quo. To date, no bills regarding access to ballots have been proposed in either state.
The same cannot be said of places where electoral defeats doomed Trump’s reelection bid. In Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, an attempted overhaul of the voting system is well underway, with hundreds of bills being introduced to slash expanded voting regulations that found favor in recent years and at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, like expanded access to absentee and early voting.
The divergent fate of voting rights in similar swing states reflects a worrisome trend for voting-rights supporters: Where Trump lost, Republicans are seeking to rewrite the rule book in their favor, regardless of how down-ballot candidates performed. In states that Trump won — nothing. …
Since January, more than 250 bills that would restrict access to voting have been introduced in 43 statehouses, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. The bulk of proposed legislation resides in states carried by President Joe Biden. Some experts believe that if Biden had won additional states, there may be an even broader effort to enact new rules dictating access to ballots.
“If the result in Ohio had been that Biden won, it is extremely difficult for me to imagine that we wouldn’t have a dozen bills already in the legislature now,” said Mia Lewis of Common Cause Ohio, a nonpartisan democracy watchdog. …
In Pennsylvania, where a slew of lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies challenging Biden’s electoral victory failed to pass muster in the courts, Republicans are now targeting the methods by which judges in the state are elected.
“Our understanding is there is a significant amount of animosity toward the appellate courts by the Republicans, and it came about in legislation,” said Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause in Pennsylvania.
“It’s a direct response to the results of the November election,” Ali said. “There’s an idea going out that if democracy doesn’t give you what you want, it must be broken.”