One party clearly wants to disenfranchise voters. Republicans in numerous states are fighting to prevent boards of elections from counting votes that were cast on or before election day. North Carolina is one of those states. Republicans here want to stop the state from counting any ballots that arrive more than three days after election day, November 3. With an overwhelmed post office that has had its capacity reduced by the Trump administration, that’s a recipe for denying people their right to vote.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Wisconsin Republicans and against the Democratic governor to disenfranchise people whose ballots are held up by the post office. A group of voting rights advocates, joined by the governor, wanted to extend receipt of ballots until six days after the election as long as they were post marked by election day. The Supreme Court denied the measure and now votes will need to be received before polls close on election day.
Republicans crowed that the court ruled with a legally elected body, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature. However, Republicans hold supermajorities yet Democrats won a majority of legislative votes in 2018. Republicans hold a 29 seat advantage in the House, but Democrats won 54% of the vote. In other words, the Supreme Court sided with minority rule, not democracy.
Republicans have been working to rig elections for the past decade. The combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the Electoral College has kept them in power against the will of the people. Now, they are extending their efforts to deny people who have already voted. The Supreme Court is ready defend their minority rule. If this attempt to subvert the will of the people continues, it won’t end well for the country.
From extreme gerrymandering to court packing, Republicans have been undermining norms and traditions in an effort to hold power since the 2010 landslide swept them into power. The backlash appears to be forming now. Democrats may be on the brink of an historic election that could give them control of the Senate and White House as well as numerous state legislative chambers. If that happens, Democrats need to move to protect our democracy and build new norms and traditions that are better protected from abuse of power.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >