Category Archives: Elections & Voting

Georgia SOS Raffensperger flirts with Trump propagandists in reelection campaign

A principled conservative who rejected demands in 2020 to “find votes” is now singing a very different tune.

Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who in November 2020 refused Donald Trump’s demand to “find” the votes for the ex-president to win the state and vigorously defended the accuracy of Georgia’s results and recounts, is “being bent to the will” of 2020 election deniers as his May 24 primary approaches, civil rights advocates say. Continue reading

Trump puppets seek control of 2024 election by winning key posts

Victories by them this year could position the extreme right to select the next president, regardless of what the electoral college or the popular vote says.

LAS VEGAS—Several months ago, Jim Marchant, a Nevada businessman and Trumpite conspiracy theorist, spilled the beans about how that wing of the Republican Party plans to control all U.S. elections in the future. Continue reading

The blind alleys of European politics

The crises are running, faster and faster, well beyond the abilities of EU rigid structures and mindsets to respond.

The French election result has again demonstrated the hard-edged rigidities of European society which make the prospect of strong purposeful (i.e. transformative) government, of the ilk of say a de Gaulle, almost impossible to emerge today at national level. However, when such national rigidities are taken in combination with the European supra-national, ‘once size fits none’ institutional EU incapacity to respond to the specifics of complex situations, we get ‘full on’ immobilism—the impossibility to change policy in any way meaningfully, in the majority of EU states. Continue reading

Against the Trumpian GOP onslaught, the Dems are like deer in the headlights

There is something about entrenched bureaucracies that transcend nations and cultures. When bureaucracies are confronted with unanticipated or new challenges, they freeze—like a deer facing headlights. Continue reading

French election was not “close” and Le Pen did not show new “strength”

The U.S. news media, taking its cues from fake TV reality shows, has reported that French President Emmanuel Macron’s easy defeat of fascist and pro-Russian candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election is an indication of the French far-right making “gains.” A 59 to 41 percent victory for Emmanuel, while not as strong as his 66 to 33 percent thrashing of Le Pen in the 2017 election, does not show any real “gains” by Le Pen and her National Rally party. Macron’s 2022 campaign strategy of tacking to the right did cost him votes among the French progressive left, but those voters largely decided to abstain from voting in the second round rather than voting for Le Pen. Some 6.8 percent of voters in the second round showed up at polling places to submit “blank” ballots. Continue reading

Le Pen defeated in France, but far-right gains ground

For the third time in 20 years, the anti-immigrant far right has been blocked from winning the French presidency at the last minute, leaving many breathing a sigh of relief. But with Marine Le Pen scoring the highest total ever for the extreme right—41.5% against incumbent President Emmanuel Macron’s 58.5%—the French Communist Party is warning that “the noose is tightening” on democracy in the country. Continue reading

Dems chant ‘Black votes are under attack’ as Florida GOP rams through DeSantis’ map

Republicans are "drunk on power and bullying anyone in their way into submission," warned Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani.

Florida’s Republican-controlled House voted along party lines Thursday to approve a congressional map drawn by the office of right-wing Gov. Ron DeSantis, a move that came after state Democrats staged a sit-in on the chamber’s floor to condemn the redistricting plan as unconstitutional and racist. Continue reading

Upcoming 2022 primaries: A handful of voters will decide who’s on the fall ballot

American voters are passionate, but they don’t think voting in primaries matters.

In May and June, as 26 states hold primary elections to determine the federal candidates for 2022’s general elections, fewer than one in five voters will likely show up. When broken down by political party, many candidates will be nominated by less than 10 percent of the electorate, a very low turnout that in most states will be dominated by voters who are middle-aged and older. Continue reading

Republicans abandon America’s “bipartisan” infomercial provider

Will we get real debates now?

On April 14, the Republican National Committee announced its withdrawal from the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has monopolized “major party” debates since 1988. The RNC, claiming bias on the CPD’s part in selecting moderators, pledged to “find newer, better debate platforms.” Continue reading

Are Iowa’s days as the nation’s first presidential nominating contest numbered?

The jockeying has begun over which mix of states might take part in a series of coordinated opening primaries for 2024’s Democratic nominee.

In the past half-century since the Iowa caucuses have led off the presidential nominating season, only one Democratic candidate who was not already president—a U.S. senator from the neighboring state of Illinois, Barack Obama—went on to win the White House. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden all lost in Iowa in their first bid for the presidency, even though they went on to win the nomination and the election. Continue reading

New efforts seek to build trust in elections in the face of a still-thriving 2020 election denier community

Believers in Trump’s big lie about the 2020 election continue to ignore national media and election experts. Will they be convinced by poll workers and local leaders to trust the democratic process again?

As 2022’s primaries approach, an unprecedented wave of public and private efforts are underway to foster trust in election operations and election officials in response to ongoing claims by Donald Trump and his supporters, including many officeholders and candidates, that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected. Continue reading

More than 80 election-denying candidates running for governor, attorney general and secretary of state in 2022’s primaries

A series of reports underscore that disinformation is getting worse in 2022, not better.

Partisan propaganda about the untrustworthiness of elections was worse in 2021 than during the 2020 presidential election, when Donald Trump claimed that he won and incited a riot at the U.S. Capitol to block ratification of Joe Biden’s victory, according to state election directors who fear that 2022’s elections will see deepening disinformation from losing GOP candidates. Continue reading

How we stop a gerrymandering catastrophe

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling and allowed Alabama’s egregious gerrymandered Congressional map to remain in place. Continue reading

Florida may soon use digital images of ballots in recounts—will all counties make them a public record?

As Florida updates its recount rules, election transparency advocates worry about losing public trust.

Florida’s recounts have been notorious. The 2000 presidential election was decided when the U.S. Supreme Court stopped a recount, holding, in Bush v. Gore, that different counties were using different procedures, which was unconstitutional. In 2018, three statewide contests, including for the U.S. Senate, triggered simultaneous recounts. Some populous counties did not finish in time, which meant that their initial vote totals were used—nullifying the recount. Continue reading

Mailed ballots boosted 2020’s turnout—will it work in 2022?

New research on the 2020 election confirms that mailed-out ballots boost turnout—especially when there are no bureaucratic hurdles for voters.

States that mailed a ballot to every registered voter in 2020’s presidential election saw voter turnout increase by an average of 5.6 percent, and turnout was even higher among infrequent voters, according to the first peer-reviewed academic study of 2020 mail voting. Continue reading

Michigan initiatives clash on how to stop GOP’s election deniers

Competing state constitutional amendments go to different lengths to enshrine voting rights and target anti-voter legislation and court rulings.

A new front is opening in Michigan’s voting wars that raises fundamental questions about how far defenders of fact-based elections and representative government must go to protect voting rights in an era marked by Republicans who deny results and spread lies about elections. Continue reading

Elections in Colombia: Prospects for change and lack of guarantees

With legislative and presidential elections coming up in Colombia, the supposedly “oldest democracy in Latin America” will see if it can consolidate the most precarious and recent peace on the continent.

The Latin American and Caribbean electoral calendar for 2022 promises to be no less hectic than that of the previous year. Among the upcoming elections and referendums that are slated for this year—Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, Peru, perhaps Haiti—two contests that are expected to attract the most attention, due to the specific geopolitical weight of these respective countries, are the general elections in Brazil, which are supposed to take place in October, and the Colombian parliamentary and presidential elections, slated for the first half of 2022. Continue reading

Power grab: How Georgia Republicans are trying to undo local elections

GOP lawmakers are targeting key boards and posts to remove Democrats.

A new wave of power grabs by Georgia’s Republican legislators is threatening to wrest control of key local government bodies where Democrats, often people of color, have recently been elected and currently hold governing majorities. Continue reading

Key battleground states considering using digital ballot images to boost voter trust

During an afternoon of public hearings where the Arizona Senate sent seven new election bills to the next stage of legislative review, Kari Lake, leaned into the podium, and, after introducing herself as “the Trump-endorsed candidate for governor,” told the Government Committee how she felt her 2020 presidential election vote had been stolen. Continue reading

As voting advocates talk about election reform, GOP-led battleground states are busy restricting voting

In swing states, Republicans are targeting key local stages of the process.

The failure of major federal voting rights legislation in the Senate has left civil rights advocates saying they are determined to keep fighting—including by suing in battleground states. But the little bipartisan consensus that exists on election reform would, at best, lead to much narrower legislation that is unlikely to address state-level GOP efforts now targeting Democratic blocs. Continue reading

Senate Republicans, after stormy debate, sink voting rights bill

Democratic lawmakers and people’s movements continue the fight nevertheless.

WASHINGTON—Catering to their white nationalist Donald Trump constituents and the corporate contributors who fund GOP campaigns, the Senate’s 50 Republicans sent the two big voting rights bills down the drain again. Continue reading

Check out the Republican Party’s newest invention: election police

Republicans have been committing election fraud right out in the open since 1964 and covering it up by yelling about “voter fraud.” Continue reading

Some Florida and Arizona Republicans show how to counter 2020 election lies

Developments in two swing states showcase how election records can be used to debunk disinformation and provide more transparency of vote counts.

As ongoing threats by Trump loyalists to subvert elections have dominated the political news, other Republicans in two key states—Florida and Arizona—are taking what could be important steps to provide voters with unprecedented evidence of who won their most close and controversial elections. Continue reading

Will Congress use its unused 232-year-old power just in time to save our republic?

The Founders of this nation, and the Framers who wrote our Constitution, created (as Ben Franklin famously said) a constitutional republic: a government “deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed” through citizens’ (then white men) right to vote. Continue reading

“Trump’s next coup has already begun: January 6 was practice.”

“Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun…” is the title of an article in the Atlantic, just out, by Barton Gellman, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of many groundbreaking exposés. He describes the various maneuvers that Trump-driven Republican operatives and state legislators are developing to overturn elections whose voters elected Democrats from states with Republican governors and state legislatures. Georgia fit that profile in 2020—electing two Democratic senators in a state with a Republican legislature and governor. Continue reading

Joe Biden’s voting rights strategy comes into focus

Laying down markers and filing lawsuits against states that cross lines.

On December 6, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Texas for the second time in 2021 under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This lawsuit was for drawing congressional and state legislative districts following the 2020 census that “refused to recognize the state’s growing minority electorate.” In other words, districts intended to impede candidates of color. Continue reading

Progressives sweep 2021’s municipal elections across Georgia

Georgia’s 2021 municipal runoff elections saw dozens of progressives elected as new mayors, city council members and local officials in a wave that challenges the political narrative that only centrists can win in Southern battleground states, according to several organizers of voter outreach efforts. Continue reading

Wisconsin is the new ground zero for 2020 election deniers

As COVID-19 swept the country in March 2020, Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers tried to postpone the April 7 presidential primary. But Republican state legislators aligned with President Trump and denying the severity of COVID-19 sneered, sued, and won in court hours before the polls were to open. That fray left Wisconsin’s 1,850 municipal clerks who administer elections, and the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which guides the clerks, frantically scrambling. Continue reading

The Georgia way: How to win elections

An oral history recounts the organizing that led to 2020’s historic presidential and senatorial victories in Georgia.

Corey Shackleford knew he could rely on Georgia’s Prince Hall Masons—named after the freed slave who created the civic-minded group’s first Black chapter in 1784. “We’re in those corners of the state, those rural areas, where others don’t normally go. But we are there.” Continue reading

Will you storm the Capitol if the 2024 election is stolen?

We’re demonizing the wrong people. Continue reading

Corporate Dem formula for a fascist future: Lose, blame left, repeat

The corporate Democrats booted the Virginia governorship. Now they’re screaming (of course) at precisely those who could’ve won it for them. Continue reading

The Facebook team that tried to swing Nicaragua’s election is full of U.S. spies

A tacit agreement between the government and Facebook appears to have been made: you can keep the profits, but we control the message. As such, a cynic might wonder what functional difference there is between Facebook and the national security state.

MANAGUA, Nicaragua—Less than a week before Nicaragua’s presidential election, social media giant Facebook deleted the accounts of hundreds of the country’s top news outlets, journalists and activists, all of whom supported the ruling left-wing Sandinista government, a top Washington target for regime change. Continue reading