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August 24, 2022

States Successfully Fixing Election Laws

Republican-controlled legislatures have been working hard to shore up state election integrity laws.

The effort by Republicans to prevent the kind of election-related abuses seen in 2020 has proven fruitful in several states. Even as Donald Trump and company were unable to definitively prove decisive voter fraud in the courts, the fact that it exposed that weaknesses exist in various states’ elections laws has motivated efforts by those concerned over election integrity to address and correct some of those problems.

Here’s a check-in on what’s happening:

Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature’s passage of several election laws served as the lightning rod for states seeking to pass election integrity measures. Democrats screamed “racism!” while Joe Biden ridiculously dubbed the election laws “Jim Crow 2.0” and “Jim Eagle.” Major League Baseball punished the Peach State by moving last year’s All-Star Game to Colorado, where election laws are … just as tight as Georgia’s. The fact that Georgia expanded voting accessibility, while at the same time instituting stronger voter ID rules specifically for absentee ballots, had no bearing on the hysterical reaction of leftists everywhere.

In Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court ruled that the election commission’s actions in 2020 to implemented the use of drop boxes without the legislature’s consent violated the state’s constitution. Public Interest Legal Foundation president Christian Adams noted, “The Supreme Court opinion says officials can’t break the law in the middle of an election season without consequences.” That won’t change anything for 2020. For one thing, Adams says, “That’s assuming that without a drop box the same people wouldn’t have found another way to vote.” But going forward it could have an impact.

Arizona passed several election laws aimed at ensuring that voter rolls are accurate and up-to-date, enhancing voter machine security, and better verifying the requirement of a signature on an absentee ballot and the envelope it is sent in. Furthermore, the state’s law banning ballot harvesting was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Republican-controlled legislature in Pennsylvania had difficulty getting Democrat Governor Tom Wolf to sign onto several of the election integrity bills they passed. However, they did get one significant election law passed and signed by Wolf, effectively banning what became known as “Zuckerbucks.” The law makes illegal the private funding of election administration within the Keystone State. Recall that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent over $400 million in 2020 across the country, targeting Democrat-heavy populations via funding get-out-the-vote efforts. So, in Pennsylvania, at least, such electioneering will be illegal.

Finally, let’s not forget Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott and the Republican-controlled legislature had to hold their ground against a bunch of unruly Democrat legislators who fled the state in an effort to prevent the passage of new election integrity laws. Democrats ridiculously asserted that voter ID laws are racist. Thankfully, Abbott and Republicans refused to back down, and Texas’s elections are more secure today because of it.

By way of reminder how important these states are in the Electoral College, The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas writes, “The most narrow margins of the last presidential election were in the states of Arizona, where Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by just over 10,000 votes; Georgia, where Biden beat Trump by fewer than 12,000 votes; Wisconsin, where Biden won by just over 20,000 votes; and Pennsylvania, where Biden won by more than 80,000 votes.” It’ll take more than tweaking election laws for a Republican to win these states in 2024, but playing by a fair set of rules is a great start.

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