Nothing scares a Republican more than voters voting.
It has been an ongoing problem for decades that the US voters vote. Not a problem for the country, certainly, and not a problem for the Democrats – the Democratic Party has tried to expand the voter population, working especially hard to include those who are most often missing on Election Day.
But Republicans have watched with horror as more voters voted – Black voters, young voters, women voters, Hispanic voters, Asian voters, low-income voters, educated voters. These voters found programs and candidates they aligned with among the Democrats, not among Republicans. And Republicans recognized that the American people were turning away from them.
Because Republicans have such a long history of “voter-phobia”, they were particularly susceptible to claims of “voter fraud”. Since that claim has been popular among Republican spokespeople for decades, Republican voters were easy pickings in 2020. The 2020 Republican presidential candidate easily and cleverly exploited that weakness, launching a coordinated propaganda campaign that blamed his loss not on his own incompetence or his own contemptuous personality but on “voter fraud.”
It worked – not surprisingly. The majority of Republican voters insist that the election was “stolen”. It’s a lie, of course, and it’s proven to be a lie by the evidence from every person actually responsible for the security and validity of elections across the country. It’s also proven by some rather simple and obvious reasoning, anecdotal evidence, and practical experience. Facts AND Reason make it clear that the lie – the “BIG LIE”, according to everyone except Republicans – is nonsense.
Nevertheless, they persist.
Republican legislators across the country are rushing to pass restrictive voting laws, chasing the phantom of their own voter-phobia. Much of these state-level bills look the same, express the same false fears, and seek the same restrictions against the same selective portions of the population. How do they happen to be so similar? Republicans have long ago adopted a national practice of making laws. The infamous organization ALEC, a corporate advocacy group, has produced talking points and “model legislation” – templates that a weak-thinking Republican legislator can reuse, simply substituting their own state’s name where it says “[YOUR STATE’S NAME]”. In 2021, the Heritage Foundation’s partisan advocacy arm has taken up the cause, helping ALEC drive its nationalization agenda in state legislatures.
Of course, Heritage knows that the “election fraud” claims are the real fraud, the Big Lie. They summarize their “report” by saying this:
The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database shows that election fraud does occur in American elections. Errors, omissions, and mistakes by election officials and careless, shoddy election practices and procedures or lack of training can cause and have caused problems for voters and candidates. While there is no accurate information on the extent of these problems, the number of instances in which such issues have occurred and are occurring demonstrates clearly the vulnerabilities in our current patchwork system across the states.*
Read that again, carefully. They set the claim of “election fraud” in the opening line, then support that with words like “errors”, omissions, and mistakes … shoddy election practices … lack of training”. These are problems, but not “fraud”. And they openly admit that “there is no accurate information” – no evidence, no facts – that any election results were compromised. There is no evidence that any election suffered from a lack of integrity.
The Heritage Foundation makes it clear – nothing went wrong in this election or any other. Surely they would have said so but instead, they admit “there is no accurate information.”
* “The Facts About Election Integrity and the Need for States to Fix Their Election Systems“, The Heritage Foundation, February 1, 2021. https://www.heritage.org/election-integrity-facts