My Party is Destroying Itself on the Altar of TrumpRoundup
tags: Republican Party, voting rights, Voter Fraud, Vote Suppression
Benjamin L. Ginsberg practiced election law for 38 years. He co-chaired the bipartisan 2013 Presidential Commission on Election Administration.
President Trump has failed the test of leadership. His bid for reelection is foundering. And his only solution has been to launch an all-out, multimillion-dollar effort to disenfranchise voters — first by seeking to block state laws to ease voting during the pandemic, and now, in the final stages of the campaign, by challenging the ballots of individual voters unlikely to support him.
This is as un-American as it gets. It returns the Republican Party to the bad old days of “voter suppression” that landed it under a court order to stop such tactics — an order lifted before this election. It puts the party on the wrong side of demographic changes in this country that threaten to make the GOP a permanent minority.
These are painful words for me to write. I spent four decades in the Republican trenches, representing GOP presidential and congressional campaigns, working on Election Day operations, recounts, redistricting and other issues, including trying to lift the consent decree.
Nearly every Election Day since 1984 I’ve worked with Republican poll watchers, observers and lawyers to record and litigate any fraud or election irregularities discovered.
The truth is that over all those years Republicans found only isolated incidents of fraud. Proof of systematic fraud has become the Loch Ness Monster of the Republican Party. People have spent a lot of time looking for it, but it doesn’t exist.
As he confronts losing, Trump has devoted his campaign and the Republican Party to this myth of voter fraud. Absent being able to articulate a cogent plan for a second term or find an attack against Joe Biden that will stick, disenfranchising enough voters has become key to his reelection strategy.
Perhaps this was the plan all along. The president’s unsubstantiated talk about “rigged” elections caused by absentee ballot “fraud” and “cheating” has been around since 2016; it’s just increased in recent weeks.
Trump has enlisted a compliant Republican Party in this shameful effort. The Trump campaign and Republican entities engaged in more than 40 voting and ballot court cases around the country this year. In exactly none — zero — are they trying to make it easier for citizens to vote. In many, they are seeking to erect barriers.