Last week, Florida followed in Georgia’s footsteps and signed into law election an election integrity bill that protects the sanctity of the vote and makes the entire process more transparent.
Texas Republicans passed similar legislation, which is expected to be signed into law.
As with Georgia, the mainstream news media was overzealous and biased in their coverage, dubbing Florida’s bill “restrictive,” and Texas’ “voter intimidation.”
Forty-three states are currently adopting similar voting integrity measures — and they should continue, despite the outcry from the partisan leftist hacks in Washington and their allies in the news media. Voter integrity is the No. 1 issue among GOP voters after the 2020 presidential election, and Americans deserve to have confidence in the electoral system.
It wasn’t too long ago that Democrats advocated for election integrity as well.
“Hacked or not, audit this election (and all future ones),” a Wired headline read in November 2016.
“Russia probably didn’t hack the U.S. election — but we still need audits, experts say,” The Guardian advocated.
The New York Daily News reported: “Election results may have been hacked in three swing states Trump won, activists want Clinton to seek recount.”
Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight penned an essay titled: “Why I support an election audit, even though it’s unlikely to change the outcome.”
For four years, these outlets perpetuated the now-debunked theory that Russia aided the Trump campaign and influenced the U.S. election. Hillary Clinton called the Trump presidency “illegitimate,” blamed the Russians, and the press happily obliged her in perpetuating the narrative. No one got kicked off of Twitter, no one got blamed for propagating the “big lie,” many were even rewarded with Pulitzer Prizes.
As a result, in 2018, before the midterm elections, nearly two in five American voters didn’t believe U.S. elections were fair, according to an NPR/Marist poll. At the time, non-White voters, women and Democrats all reported substantially greater doubts about the fairness of the elections compared to Republicans.
Forty-seven percent of the poll’s respondents said they thought it was either likely or very likely that not all votes would be counted in November, driven by almost 60% of non-White voters who thought there would be an incorrect tabulation.
At that time, it was cool to question election results and demand audits and more transparency.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, however, and Republicans are second-guessing the validity of the electoral process and passing voter integrity bills, the press and the left are going mad, happily labeling the efforts as “Jim Crow 2.0.”
A level-head would conclude election integrity is a bipartisan issue. All Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, have questioned election results and want to have faith in the process.
Statewide audits, like those being conducted in Arizona and Wisconsin, should continue. Laws should be enacted at the state level that make voter fraud more difficult, as it’s hard to detect and catch after the fact. This isn’t restrictive, it’s smart.
Florida’s new law bans ballot harvesting, only allowing a voter’s family from handling his or her absentee ballot. It prohibits the mass-mailing of unrequested mail-in ballots, keeps ballot drop boxes under the control of polling places, tightens signature verification, and encourages in-person voting, where the chance of fraud is much lower.
Like Florida, Texas’ bill makes it a crime for polling places to block or obstruct poll watchers’ view and includes new identification requirements for mail-in ballots and limits on drop boxes.
These laws are sensible and much-needed to restore American’s faith in the electoral process. Republicans, in state legislatures they control, should continue these efforts and refuse to cower to the left-wing attacks of “Jim Crow 2.0” and “voter suppression.”
After all, Democrats, not too long ago, questioned the validity of the process as well. Everyone is better off with increased transparency into the system and entitled to well-run, efficient elections.