Accusations of voter fraud during the 2016 Presidential election continue to fly, with the President leading the charge. The question is, why?
On the one hand, he could genuinely believe that he was such an overwhelmingly favorable candidate that his lack of a clear majority must have come down to voter fraud.
Or, he could be upset that his nemesis Barack Obama received more votes than he did comparing both 2008 (69,498,516 votes for Obama) and 2012 (65,915,795 votes for Obama) with the election of 2016 (62,979,636 votes for Trump).
Worse, he could be mentally unstable, hanging his self-worth on what is, let’s face it, a trivial matter given the rules of the electoral college.
Worse still, he could be gas-lighting us, using the voter fraud issue as a smokescreen for a more ambitious and autocratic policy agenda.
Here’s the thing, though: Who cares about the President’s motivation here? If this is his pet distraction, let him have it. The bigger danger comes from the fact that Republican lawmakers around the country are seizing on the voter fraud allegations, and are using them as a justification for even more draconian “ballot protection measures”. It’s the latter issue that must be quashed; not the former.
Depending upon the states in question, the ballot protection measures being proposed would require voters to produce new or tighter voter identification documentation prior to entering the polling booth; would eliminate Election-Day-registration provisions that serve to increase voter turnout; would curtail early voting; and would make it more difficulty for college students to demonstrate residency so that they may vote where they are living while attending college. Taken together, these measures would disproportionally target the poor, minorities, and students – all of whom tend to support candidates from the Democratic Party.
This is not normal.
If you believe that you should win an election – any election – with a clear mandate, you should be running on a platform that captures the imaginations of a majority of voters. Neither Republicans, nor Democrats for that matter, should have to rely upon gerrymandering nor voter manipulation-by-regulation.
Fearing voters is not a good thing; it’s the slippery slope that leads downhill to banana republics and dictatorships.
It’s Monday already; the 13th of February, 2017.
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