Editorial: It’s not a democracy if the votes don’t count – Kenosha News
Challenges to one-person one-vote are everywhere. It’s up to every American to fight the nonsense and stand up for fair elections.
Throwing the rascals out is an American political tradition.
The voters won’t be able to throw the rascals out for much longer, though, if democracy gets upended to the point that the electorate no longer has the power to change its government.
It’s a real risk. Putting decisive thumbs on the scale is the goal of too many people who are too close to creating a system in which party apparatchiks can overturn election results they don’t like. Make no mistake: If you think those apparatchiks will overturn elections in your favor, you’ll be in for a surprise when it goes the other way. By then, there will be no recourse.
The challenges to one-person one-vote are everywhere.
In Arizona, QAnon conspiracy theorist Mark Finchem, with Donald Trump’s backing, is running for secretary of state and the chance to wield broad power over elections. Finchem was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but he won’t release texts and other communications to show whether he entered the building. He’s not alone in his disdain for voters. At least nine Republican Senate candidates have filed or actively supported one of the baseless lawsuits that claimed the 2020 election was fraudulent.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law on Sept. 7 that makes it harder to obtain mail-in ballots, prohibits drop boxes to turn in those ballots, limits early voting times and eliminates drive-through voting. Democrats fled the state capital for weeks in a failed effort to block the bill.
In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers last week approved subpoenas for a wide range of data and personal information on voters, which looks an awful lot like a way to undermine democracy and intimidate voters. Whatever happened to the idea of a secret ballot?
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an elections overhaul into law Tuesday that adds more voting restrictions in the booming state, after Democrats spent months protesting what they say are efforts to weaken minority turnout and preserve the GOP’s eroding dominance.
In Georgia, Republicans enacted a law in March that gives state-level Republicans the ability to take over county vote-counting machinery, which would allow them to tip future presidential and congressional elections their way. The law gives state-level officials the power to do what Trump wanted to do in 2020: make decisions after the fact about which votes will be counted. Other states have rushed to enact similar laws.
Everyone remembers how Trump tried to get Georgia’s secretary of state to “recalculate” vote totals to “find” enough votes for him. Laws such as Georgia’s will make that possible, and with officials such as Finchem in power, should he win, who can doubt those laws will be put into practice?
Other nations that admire American democracy can only watch, aghast.
Meanwhile, more than 400 bills have been introduced across the nation to make it harder for targeted populations to vote. In July, the Brennan Center for Justice reported that 18 states had enacted 30 laws making it harder to vote. The Voting Rights Lab says 184 bills in 39 states would shift the allocation of power in the administration of elections.
According to an upcoming book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, then-Vice President Mike Pence was actually pondering whether to certify President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump until he talked to former Vice President Dan Quayle, who said, “Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away.”
Besides the new laws, some politicians are encouraging “poll watchers” to be disruptive, to intimidate poll workers and voters. More people also are willing to threaten violence. How many election workers who take on the task only out of a sense of civic duty will be willing to work from 5 in the morning to 10 or 11 at night even as someone is making threatening calls to their children? But if they quit, there’s a very real fear they could be replaced with workers whose agenda is to tilt an election.
No wonder most Americans — 56% — feel democracy is under attack in this country. according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.
One lifeline for democracy is the Freedom to Vote Act, which was introduced in the Senate on Tuesday. It contains provisions to safeguard future elections tampering. Every state would be required to have automatic voter registration. It would limit the ability of political parties to box voting minorities into convoluted districts through partisan gerrymandering, overturn a recent Supreme Court ruling on how provisional ballots can be counted and roll back newly passed laws that make voting by mail harder. All eligible citizens could request mail-in ballots and have access to secure drop-off boxes.
Democracy is hanging on by a thread. Our nation needs to rebuild a consensus that elections must be fair — putting the means before the ends. All of America should rally to defend a form of government that has made this nation great.
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman announced there was evidence the Soviet Union had recently conducted a nuclear test explosion. (The test had been carried out on Aug. 29, 1949.)
In 1952, Sen. Richard M. Nixon, R-Calif., salvaged his vice-presidential nomination by appearing on television from Los Angeles to refute allegations of improper campaign fundraising in what became known as the “Checkers” speech.
In 1955, a jury in Sumner, Mississippi, acquitted two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, of murdering Black teenager Emmett Till. (The two men later admitted to the crime in an interview with Look magazine.)
In 1957, nine Black students who’d entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas were forced to withdraw because of a white mob outside.
In 1987, Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., withdrew from the Democratic presidential race following questions about his use of borrowed quotations and the portrayal of his academic record.
Ten years ago: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas took his people’s quest for independence to the United Nations, seeking the world body’s recognition of Palestine and sidestepping negotiations that had foundered for nearly two decades.
Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI, visiting his native Germany, met with victims of sexual abuse by priests and expressed “deep compassion and regret,” according to the Vatican.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama vetoed a bill to allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia, arguing it undermined national security. (Both the House and Senate voted to override the veto.)
Five years ago: Sen. Ted Cruz announced on Facebook he would vote for Donald Trump, a dramatic about-face months after the fiery Texas conservative called the Republican nominee a “pathological liar” and “utterly amoral.”
In 2018, capping a comeback from four back surgeries, Tiger Woods won the Tour Championship in Atlanta, the 80th victory of his PGA Tour career and his first in more than five years.
One year ago: A Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for the shooting death of a Black woman, Breonna Taylor, during a failed drug raid; prosecutors said officers were justified in using force to protect themselves after facing gunfire. (Charges of wanton endangerment were filed against fired Officer Bret Hankison for shooting into a neighboring home.) In Louisville and cities nationwide, protesters took to the streets in anger over the killings of Black people by police; two officers in Louisville were shot and wounded during the demonstrations.
One year ago: Pro football Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers died at 77.
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