Atlanta (Associated Press)-The change in the way millions of Americans vote this year has contributed to a record increase in turnout, but this does not guarantee that measures that make it easier to vote on the ballot will remain in future elections.
After voting for President Biden, Republicans already in key states are pushing for new restrictions, especially for absentee voting. This is an option for many states to expand after the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has proved to be very popular and helped ensure the smoothest election days in recent years.
President Donald Trump has been persistently carrying out email voting attacks because he continues to challenge the legitimacy of losing the election. Despite the lack of evidence and dozens of losses in court, his claim of widespread voter fraud has attracted attention among some Republican elected officials.
They vowed to crack down on mail voting and threatened to withdraw other steps that make it easier for people to vote.
Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Judicial Center at New York University, New York, said: “This myth neither proves that the election result is unfounded, nor that it imposes an additional burden on voters and makes many Americans lose the right to vote.”
An estimated 108 million people voted before the general election day, including early voting in person, by mail or by casting absentee ballots. After the states took steps to make it easier to avoid crowded polling stations during the pandemic, this figure accounted for almost 70% of all votes.
Some states send a ballot to each registered voter, while others waived the requirement that voters need a specific excuse to make an absentee ballot. Many states have added coin boxes and expanded early voting options.
This change is widespread among voters and has not led to widespread fraud. A group of election officials including representatives of the Federal Cyber Security Agency called the 2020 presidential election the “safest” election in American history. US Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press that there is no evidence that fraud will change the US presidential election. the result of. election.
Nevertheless, Republicans in Georgia proposed to add photo ID requirements when voting in absentia, prohibiting drop-in boxes, and possible return reasons for requesting an excuse to vote by mail, such as illness or poor elections.
Early supporters of the identification request included Republican Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who were criticized ruthlessly by Trump because he was in Georgia The state failed to support its fraud allegations after losing the lawsuit. A senior representative of Raffensperger said that the requirement for identification will increase public confidence and refute any future fraud allegations.
According to current laws, the state will hold two U.S. Senate elections next month. The bill requires local election officials to verify the signatures on absentee ballots.
In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers have been legislating to resolve their claims to the 2020 election and mail voting issues, although courts and election officials have found no evidence of widespread problems.
Senate Majority Leader King Ward of Pennsylvania said: “We hope to tighten as soon as possible.”
The Republican Party holds a majority of seats in both parliaments, and their support has played an important role in a one-year-old state law that extends mail voting to all registered voters. A bill under discussion will even repeal the law and force voters to give an excuse to accept mailed ballots.
Previous elections have shown that voters like mail voting regardless of their party affiliation. This year, Republican candidates performed well in the election, despite a record 81.2 million voters who voted for Democrats in the presidential election.
In Michigan, Republicans occupy every seat in Congress, and despite Trump’s defeat, they still control the legislature. However, Republicans still hold legislative hearings, and Trump’s lawyers argued that there are widespread violations without explaining how these violations only affect the presidential election and not other competition.
The Secretary of State of Michigan said: “Just like we have seen many lawmakers make unwise decisions to hold hearings, the hearings will eventually be more political than policy debates. We can also expect lawmakers to further promote this super-partisanship. The agenda to limit voting,” Governor Jocelyn Benson (Jocelyn Benson) name.
Benson said lawmakers should use the high turnout rate in the presidential election as a guide to improve working principles and then make the changes that election officials seek, such as giving clerks more time to process mail voting. Michigan does not allow this work to begin on the day before election day.
Lisa Schaefer, executive director of the Pennsylvania County Committees Association, said her organization also hopes that lawmakers will work to ease the pressure on local election officials.
Schaefer said: “The more time we spend debating other issues, the less time we have to do good things about changing the electoral code.”
Democrats and voting rights groups have begun to back down, saying that the Republican Party should focus on protecting voters from participating in the polls instead of including the conspiracy theories launched by Trump and his allies to sabotage the November 3 election.
They said there are few requirements for identification, but the cost is high.
“This is looking for a solution to a problem,” said the state’s California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat who was recently filled in the Senate seat of Vice President Kamala Harris Say. “There is no doubt that this will bring the net effect of depriving many people of the right to vote without having to improve election security.”
Padilla supports sending votes to registered voters via email.
Voter fraud does occur, but research shows that such fraud is extremely rare. Many safeguards are built into the voting system to ensure that only qualified voters can vote. Election officials say that if fraud occurs, people will be arrested and prosecuted.
Not all Republicans are seeking to increase restrictions.
In Ohio, Secretary of State Frank LaRose stated that his legislation focused on expanding early voting locations, strengthening supervision of election vendors, increasing options for online requests for absentee ballots, and solving the problem of messy drop boxes.
LaRose said: “Ohio has a good thing, but we don’t want to stand still,” he must change his position through the Republican-led legislature.
Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams said the pandemic forced the state to implement early voting, which proved to be popular among voters of both major parties. The Republican said that he believed that state legislators might formulate early voting policies for subsequent elections, and heard that the Republican-controlled legislature has no objection to this.
He said: “This will only make voting easier.”
Izaguirre reports from Lindenhurst, New York. Associated Press writer Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Ben Nadler in Atlanta; Julie Carr Smyth of Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.
The Associated Press report on voting rights was partially supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York. AP is solely responsible for this content.