Republicans’ War on Democracy is Ramping Up
Republicans' war on democracy is gaining steam. Unable to persuade a majority of voters to vote for their presidential standard-bearer or Senate candidates in some key races, many have decided that instead of trying to compete in a free and fair vote they will make the contest less free and less fair. Republican state lawmakers are introducing voter-suppression bills all over the country. But ground zero is Georgia, where former president Donald Trump and two Republican Senate incumbents unexpectedly lost.... Following a presidential election that experts deemed the most secure in U.S. history, there is no rational explanation for all of this — if, that is, the goal is to ascertain the will of the people. The most common excuse: Republican constituents are concerned about the integrity of the vote, and lawmakers must take measures to assure them. Of course, it is Republican leaders themselves, led by Mr. Trump, who encouraged baseless suspicions about the 2020 election. Now, Republicans use the fact that many of their voters believed their lies to restrict voting, focusing on the types of voters who tend to favor Democrats. Georgia Republicans are hardly alone. New York University law school’s Brennan Center for Justice reported that, “as of February 19, 2021, state lawmakers have carried over, prefiled, or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access.” Congress must step in, requiring that states run federal elections in a convenient, open and fair manner. That includes absentee-ballot policies based in reality, ample early voting, smart post-election audits and an end to partisan gerrymandering. Democrats have a bill — H.R. 1 — that would do this and more. It must be a top priority this session.