The blurry line between combating ‘fraud’ and just making voting harder

March 15, 2021 ☼ voter-suppressiondemocracygopfoxlies

Source: The Washington Post

Link: The blurry line between combating ‘fraud’ and just making voting harder

In the weeks after the 2020 election, few members of the media were more ostentatiously willing to entertain Donald Trump’s claims of election improprieties than Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo. Despite the lack of evidence then or now for any significant voter fraud, Bartiromo has continued to entertain the idea that something nebulously untoward occurred.

Bartiromo interviews Abbott in which he relates a story about Obama’s administration investigating ballot-harvesting. The implication is that “ballot-harvesting” (the practice of someone in the area collecting absentee ballots to deliver) is inherently bad. It’s not.

Abbott’s story is a good example of that. What he says is true: There was a case in which people were implicated in attempted fraud in Texas. But, first, the scale was incredibly modest, focused on a county commissioner race. Second, several people were arrested because what they were doing was already illegal. I mean, they were allegedly trading illegal drugs for votes and got busted! The House bill isn’t going to suddenly legalize cocaine and make all of this hunky-dory. Abbott’s describing criminality that occupies several tiers simply because he wants to argue that fraud is a problem — ballot harvesting was “a way to commit voter fraud,” he explained after his story — and to cast things in as nefarious a context as he can.

Undermining democracy is the strategy.