What ac­tual elec­tion tam­per­ing looks like

Orlando Sentinel - - OPINION -

that is a fig­ment of their col­lec­tive imag­i­na­tion, this is what ac­tual elec­tion tam­per­ing looks like. Not mil­lions of peo­ple vot­ing who shouldn’t, but rather votes stolen, by chicanery, men­dac­ity and in­tim­i­da­tion, from peo­ple who have ev­ery right to par­tic­i­pate in the elec­toral process.

And that’s just one ex­am­ple. There are many more. This year in Ge­or­gia, for in­stance, 4,700 vot­ers found that their voteby-mail ap­pli­ca­tion forms had mys­te­ri­ously gone miss­ing. In Wis­con­sin, cer­tain vot­ers re­ceived fliers warn­ing that ICE would be pa­trolling polling places. In New York state, a GOP can­di­date sent out fliers with false dead­lines for the re­turn of ab­sen­tee bal­lots. All this, ac­cord­ing to the non­par­ti­san Brennan Cen­ter for Jus­tice at New York Univer­sity School of Law.

Nor should it sur­prise any­one that this kind of flim­flam — to say noth­ing of photo ID laws, bans on early vot­ing, clo­sures of polling places and other im­ped­i­ments — tends to have its great­est im­pact upon Demo­cratic vot­ers; that’s what it’s de­signed for. If there is a cor­re­spond­ing litany of abuses that dis­pro­por­tion­ately sup­presses Repub­li­can votes, I’ve never heard of it. I doubt any­one has.

So one gets sick and tired of watch­ing Repub­li­cans hy­per­ven­ti­late about a prob­lem that doesn’t ex­ist while ig­nor­ing one that does. If they are re­ally se­ri­ous about con­fronting threats to the in­tegrity of elec­tions, the first step is to get a mirror.

The sec­ond is to come to terms with re­al­ity. Amer­ica is chang­ing, rapidly, dra­mat­i­cally and ir­re­vo­ca­bly. And the GOP needs to fig­ure out how to com­pete in this new na­tion, how to make it­self a party whose ap­peal ex­tends be­yond an­gry, older white male vot­ers. That’s a reck­on­ing the right has avoided for years, but it be­comes less avoid­able ev­ery day.

In­deed, not all the dirty tricks and photo ID laws in the world can ob­scure the hard but sim­ple truth Repub­li­cans face. Namely, that the fu­ture is com­ing, fast.

And they can’t cheat their way around it.

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