It isn’t news to say that democracy is in trouble in America. Everyone who pays any attention to politics knows that. But many may not know who is overseeing their next actual election.
Right now, there are seventeen state election officials who are in a position to grossly interfere with the next presidential election.
And that concern is not even counting the states that responded to 2020 by making voting even harder, by cutting down mail-in voting, cutting down on drop-off boxes, and eliminating early voting like the “Souls to the polls” campaigns. You know the drill.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is attacking the credibility of America’s electoral process with pronouncements that surely aren’t helping his legal cases.
It is true that many election deniers lost in 2022, but the public doesn’t seem to appreciate it.
It is also true that nearly all the election deniers are in red states that are going to be red in every election anyway. But not all are guaranteed to be red.
Utah didn’t like Trump the first time around.
Maybe Utah takes the man with values this time? Probably not. But we get surprised from time to time.
Georgia? What about Florida? It’s gone red a lot lately, but not by huge amounts, and perhaps not after 2022, when DeSantis got really crazy in preparation for a national presidential run.
Rolling Stone counts any state with an election-denying governor, attorney general, or secretary of state in counting the 17.
That makes sense. All three positions could somewhat alter the election. Of course, the secretary of state would have the easiest time, but you understand.
From the Rolling Stone report:
“Many of these election deniers used election lies, including false claims of widespread voter fraud, to fundraise for their campaigns. Nine states have removed themselves from the Electronic Registration Information Center, which was designed to ensure the accuracy of voter rolls.”
“Some election deniers have used their power to limit donations to fund election administration, while others have created or expanded units that prosecute election crimes, despite voter fraud being exceedingly rare. Others have denied the election more subtly, including claims that the indictments against Donald Trump are some form of election interference.”
Alabama has three of a kind of election-denying officials: Governor, Attorney General, and Sec. of State. That’s a great hand in poker but that is not a distinction one wants for their state in electoral politics.
The fact is that Biden won with 81 million votes (he would have won anyway) because COVID promoted democracy. More mail-in ballots mean more voters. Yes, it was also a heated election.
The Republican party is a shrinking, almost regional party, and they know it. They don’t want to hear a thing about expanding voting.
I am paraphrasing, but Bernie Sanders once said, “I campaign hard and try to emphasize better policy, but I have never considered winning an election by limiting votes.”
I lived in the state of Washington and signed up for mail-in voting, as everyone can.
My ballot was sent to my address with plenty of time. I filled out my ballot (From small municipal issues to presidential elections) while eating dinner. I put it back in the yellow envelope provided and put it back in the mail. No stamp is needed.
A lot of Republicans are elected in Eastern Washington. Areas with more Republicans than Democrats in their population elect more Republicans and vice versa.
It is called “democracy,” and it is deeply imperiled in the United States.
It would be tragically ironic that the first nation to truly set up a democracy might be the first major country to give it up.
This column is based on original reporting by Peter Wade of Rolling Stone.
I can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JasonMiciak
Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here: