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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Saturday, April 18, 2020
DNC Chair: Trump Puts Lives in Danger to STEAL an Election!
Republicans put lives in danger to try to steal an election — now they want to take your away right to vote
These Idiots Will Say Anything! ...tmiraldi
TOM PEREZ, DNC Chairman
On election night in Wisconsin last week, I spoke to a mother of two undergoing chemotherapy treatment. She prides herself on being an active participant in our democracy, and she made a timely request for an absentee ballot. But it didn’t arrive until after Election Day. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, going to a polling location could have been extremely hazardous to her health. One would think the elected officials who represent her would fight to make sure she could make her voice heard without risking her safety. Instead, Wisconsin Republicans fought to suppress her constitutional right to vote.
She is not alone. Thousands of voters across Wisconsin were disenfranchised for no other reason than craven Republican self-interest. They wanted to win the election for a seat on the state’s Supreme Court. They knew they couldn’t win it by letting people vote, so what did they do? They exploited a public health emergency in an attempt to steal the election. One Wisconsin voter brought a sign to the polls that said it best: “This is ridiculous.”
But guess what? It didn’t work. Against all odds, Wisconsin voters fought back and elected Judge Karofsky to the state’s Supreme Court. I know Judge Karofsky will be fair and make decisions based on the rule of law, not a hyper-partisan agenda. And Wisconsinites will be well-served by her sound judgement.
This remarkable result speaks to the grassroots enthusiasm for Democrats in Wisconsin and across the country. And it should terrify Donald Trump and every other Wisconsin Republican.
But even though Republicans failed this time, you can bet they’re going to keep trying to suppress people’s votes all the way through November. They’re going to keep forcing millions of Americans to choose between their safety and their vote. And to add insult to injury, they’re going to keep defending their actions by pushing the widely debunked myth of widespread “voter fraud.”
Time and again, the GOP has resorted to this lie to deny voters their constitutional rights. Now they’ve stepped up the mythmaking, claiming — without any evidence — that vote-by-mail ballots would result in increased fraud. There’s just one problem with that theory: It’s patently false, and Republicans know it.
Several states, including Oregon, Colorado and Utah, have already employed expanded vote-by-mail successfully in their elections. Not only that, but President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Pence and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel have all voted by mail. They just don’t want to afford you that right.
This is not a war on voter fraud; it’s a war on voters.
Even some Republican governors and secretaries of state aren’t willing to go along with their party’s lies. Ohio, for example, is using vote-by-mail for upcoming elections. In fact, just last week, the spokesperson for the Republican Ohio secretary of State said, “Ohioans can be confident that their vote-by-mail ballots are as safe and secure as the votes cast on Election Day.”
As a career civil right rights lawyer, I’ve seen and fought against a lot of voter suppression in my day. I thought I was old enough that nothing could surprise anymore. But this is a whole new level of corruption. This is voter suppression on steroids, and it’s the foundation of the Republican Party’s strategy.
Republicans know they can’t win on their ideas, so they have to suppress the vote to have any chance of victory. This is the oldest trick in the GOP playbook. In fact, in 1980, prominent conservative Paul Weyrich admitted as much, saying, “I don’t want everybody to vote. … [Republican] leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down.” Now, they’re exploiting a public health crisis to gain that leverage, and endangering millions of lives in the process.
But the American people know a con job when they see it, and they won’t be fooled.
Wisconsin should teach us two things. First, the GOP will stop at nothing, including putting people’s lives at risk, to win an election. And second, the American people have the power to stop them, just like they did in Wisconsin.
The right to vote is the right that protects all others. It is the foundation of our democracy. And Democrats are showing true leadership during this crisis by advocating for the health and safety of the American people and the integrity of our elections. That’s why we’ve called on all states to employ vote-by-mail, expand early voting, and implement a variety of other reforms to make it easier and safer for Americans to make their voices heard during this pandemic. Because you shouldn’t have to win the geographic lottery to exercise your right to the ballot.
We believe elections should be about which party has the best ideas, not which party can silence the most voters. We believe government has a fundamental role in keeping people safe and allowing them to exercise their fundamental freedoms.
We cannot let this pandemic bring our democracy to a halt or silence the voices of people across the country, especially in communities of color, which have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus and historically targeted by Republican voter suppression efforts. Trump and Republican leaders are playing games with people’s lives and constitutional rights. And American voters will make them pay the price on Election Day when they elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.
*Tom Perez is the chair of the Democratic National Committee. During the Obama administration, Perez served as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and then as secretary of Labor.