2020 could be remembered as the election that defined our politics for generations to come.
Not only will the White House be up for contention, but so will thousands of state legislative seats across the country – right before all congressional and legislative districts are redrawn.
Unfortunately, Republicans have been planning for this moment for nearly a decade, and their scheme to rig the rules and give GOP candidates an unfair advantage in these elections – including Trump – could be on the verge of succeeding.
Here’s what Trump’s closest state allies have been doing to put a thumb on the scales of the 2020 elections – and how your grassroots contribution right now could help Democrats fight back.
Restrictive Voting Laws
The GOP is deploying every possible scheme to suppress democracy – but none is more insidious than restrictive voting laws.
Over the past decade, more than a dozen Republican-led states have passed legislation making it harder for the average citizen to vote: Laws that cut or restrict early voting, criminalize voter registration drives, or even deny ballots entirely to voters who lack a Republican-approved form of ID.
Study after study confirms that the only meaningful impact of these laws is to block millions of Americans – disproportionately in minority communities – from voting. And sure enough, in 2016, these laws may have made the difference for Donald Trump, flipping states like Wisconsin into his column by the narrowest of margins.
This fall, Republicans are counting on even more systematic disenfranchisement to keep Trump in the White House.
Polling Place Closures
Another method Republicans have used to create barriers in our election process is polling place closures.
On the heels of Super Tuesday, The Huffington Post reported that after the Supreme Court struck down key parts of the Voting Rights Act, Texas officials instituted “closures of hundreds of polling places in counties with large or growing Black and Latino populations.” Many of those same counties later suffered hours-long lines at their remaining polling places on Primary Day.
But Texas is hardly alone in these practices. A recent study found that nearly 1,700 polling places have been closed in 13 states following the gutting of the Voting Rights Act – including states like Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida that are considered essential to Trump’s reelection.
Packing The Courts
The Trump campaign and national Republicans recently announced a $10 million legal effort to defend the practices outlined above and even sue Democratic-led states to force them to implement other favored GOP tactics like purging the voter rolls or rejecting validly-cast absentee ballots.
But Trump’s allies are also spending millions of dollars to try and pick the judges hearing those cases, too.
In the past few years alone, a Koch-backed dark money organization has spent $1.3 million on a state supreme court election in Wisconsin, $2.6 million on another in Arkansas, and millions more on judicial races in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and elsewhere – all to make sure that when right-wing voting restrictions are challenged in court, right-wing judges get to decide voters’ fates.
What We Can Do
If Republicans win this year, they’ll have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rig the deck in their favor again, paving the way for another decade of top-to-bottom GOP control.
Only a historically MASSIVE Democratic mobilization effort can stop the Republicans from getting their way, Jamie – and it’s happening right now.
We’re investing in a nationwide effort to elect state Democrats and flip key states blue at every level – the largest program of its kind in our history. But with Trump flooding the airwaves in critical battleground states, we need grassroots supporters to step up and ensure we can take on every challenge that comes our way.
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