Category Archives: Elections & Voting

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

Democrats can avoid midterm election disaster by running on their actual agenda

Democrats in Virginia can’t say they didn’t see it coming. Complaints at the gas pump and the rumbling at local school board meetings outside Richmond and in Northern Virginia foretold Election Day trouble. A massive right-wing media offensive spent the summer and fall pumping tales of Democratic inaction and Republican culture war fiction into the minds of voters, particularly white women. By November, many were convinced that the Democratic Party simply wasn’t delivering on the things that really mattered. Continue reading

Elections and the illusion of Black political power

Black politicians may be openly conservative or pretend leftists but their constituents rarely get what they need. Politics absent a mass movement is a recipe for inaction or even outright betrayal.

Election day is treated with great fanfare in this country. Citizens are propagandized into voting for the sake of voting and are shamed if they don’t. Black people who question the value of the process are under particular pressure. “People died so that you could vote,” and other exhortations cheapen the memory of the liberation movement which sought to guarantee human rights for Black people. While casting a ballot is seen as a quasi-religious duty, the development of mass movements that are the foundation of all important political change is actively discouraged. The result are electoral victories for politicians that often spell defeat for the voters who are propagandized to put them in office. Continue reading

Virginia gubernatorial race: Organizers are turning out overlooked voters of color

A grassroots strategy that avoids partisan clichés and confronts local issues.

After 2020’s election, Virginia adopted more pro-voter legislation than any state, from expanding access to starting to amend its constitution to enshrine voting rights. But these reforms have not been enough to turn out voters in this fall’s statewide elections, where the top-of-the-ticket Democratic and Republican candidates for governor are close in polls but seen as underwhelming. Continue reading

Malevolent Mitch drives U.S. democracy into a ditch

“Malevolent Mitch” McConnell—Senate Republican leader from Kentucky—is driving U.S. democracy into the ditch of history. Of course, he’s got a lot of help. Continue reading

Chile is at the dawn of a new political era

“It feels like we are at the end of an era,” Bárbara Sepúlveda tells me on October 12, 2021. Sepúlveda is a member of Chile’s Constitutional Convention and of the Communist Party of Chile. The era to which Sepúlveda refers is that of General Augusto Pinochet, who led the U.S.-backed coup in 1973 that overthrew the popularly elected government of President Salvador Allende. During the Pinochet era, the military acted with impunity, and the left was assassinated and sent into exile—while big business (both Chilean and foreign) received all the blessings of the dictatorship. That’s the era that has slowly been sputtering to a halt since Pinochet’s removal in 1990 and since the Chilean people voted to throw out the dictatorship’s Constitution of 1980 and write a new one. Continue reading

Trump’s undermining of the electoral process gives U.S. Third World nation status

To the delight of autocrats around the world, from Brazil’s neo-fascist President Jair Bolsonaro to Hungarian quasi-dictator Viktor Orban, Donald Trump and his cult-of-personality Republican Party have driven the United States into a category that was once the domain of Third World nations. Widespread belief among Trump loyalists that elections are “fixed” has undermined faith in the American political process. It was similar propaganda put forth by Adolf Hitler that convinced many Germans in the 1930s that elections were merely a waste of time, a mindset that allowed Hitler to scrap Germany’s democratic constitution and declare a “Thousand Year” Nazi Reich. Continue reading

Voters in four elections reject anti-public health parties

Certain far-right political parties that hoped to capitalize on their anti-vaccine and anti-public health messages to gain power in elections during the last month have come away sorely disappointed. Voters in California, Canada, Germany, and Iceland firmly rejected so-called “populist” parties and their candidates that argued against vaccination mandates and masking in public places. Continue reading

Germans choose center-left over center-right by big margin

The center-left candidate fighting to succeed Angela Merkel as Germany’s chancellor declared that his Social Democratic Party (SPD) intends to forge a “social-ecological-liberal coalition” after coming in first in Sunday’s election. With 25.7%, the SPD beat the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), currently in power, which garnered 24.1%, its worst showing in the 70-year history of the party. Continue reading

Arizona Senate poised to report that Biden beat Trump in state’s 2020 election

The top private funder of the 2020 election review has taken to social media to complain that Arizona politicians are white-washing the report—which upends the “big lie.”

The team of Arizona Republican state senators, legislative staff, and advisers finalizing the Cyber Ninjas’ report on the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County are preparing to say that Joe Biden legitimately won the election, according to the largest funder of the Senate’s mostly privatized election review, former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne. Continue reading

California unions cheer big Newsom win

SACRAMENTO—With one exception, California unions, which went all-out to defeat a right-wing recall campaign/coup attempt against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, cheered the landslide vote against his ouster. And their foot soldiers and ground game were a big reason for Newsom’s runaway. Continue reading

Arizona mystery: Did Cyber Ninjas Botch another 2020 presidential recount attempt?

Pro-Trump contractors who hope to take Arizona-style audits to other states show continued incompetence with public records.

Did the Cyber Ninjas botch another attempt to recount Maricopa County’s 2020 presidential ballots—an attempt that, so far, has escaped wide media coverage? Continue reading

‘Four-alarm fire’ for democracy as Texas voter suppression bill becomes law

"Texas already had some of the most restrictive voting laws in the nation, and the passage of this egregious bill just made conditions for voters even worse," said one voting rights advocate.

The voter suppression law signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday already faces legal challenges that were promptly filed by a number of civil rights groups, which argue the restrictive measure is transparently aimed at keeping people of color from casting ballots and violates federal law. Continue reading

Texas groups file suit against ‘unconstitutional, anti-democratic’ voter suppression law

"SB1 not only makes voting harder for all Texans, it threatens the most marginalized of us the most," said the ACLU. "We won't stop fighting until it's blocked."

A lawsuit against a widely criticized voter suppression law in Texas was filed Friday by a group of civil rights organizations who argue the new restrictions imposed by Republican lawmakers in the state violate core constitutional protections. Continue reading

Could California end up with a Trump-like governor?

If Democratic voters fail to turn out for California’s upcoming recall election, the nation’s most populous, and arguably most liberal, state could end up with a right-wing extremist at its helm.

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom is facing a recall election that, up until recently, the Democratic Party had brushed off as a frivolous inconvenience. Now, just days before the election, vote-by-mail ballots have been sent to California’s 22 million active registered voters in a statewide off-year election that offers a bewildering array of nearly four dozen alternate choices to Newsom if he were to lose. Polls show that even in a state with a clear majority of voters identifying as Democratic, Newsom is in trouble. Continue reading

Growing chorus of Republicans criticize Arizona Senate’s 2020 election ‘audit’

Meanwhile, a long-awaited report by the Cyber Ninjas is held back—the pro-Trump election investigators have COVID-19.

The effort by former President Donald Trump and his ardent supporters to delegitimize Arizona’s 2020 presidential election was supposed to reach a turning point during the third week of August. But as has been typical with this hyperpartisan effort, the pro-Trump contractors empowered by the state Senate’s Republicans faced another delay, ducking an anticipated reckoning with facts and critics. Continue reading

The GOP’s election lies are stale, but the stakes are high

Right now our nation still has two competing narratives about the 2020 election. Continue reading

How California’s top Democrats paved the way for a Republican governor this fall

Whether Newsom will remain governor past mid-autumn now looks like a coin flip. And what's at stake in the recall goes far beyond California—in fact, all the way to the nation's capital.

In fewer than four weeks from now, a right-wing Republican could win the governor’s office in California. Some polling indicates that Democrat Gavin Newsom is likely to lose his job via the recall election set for Sept. 14. When CBS News released a poll on Sunday, Gov. Newsom’s razor-thin edge among likely voters was within the margin of error. How this could be happening in a state where Republicans are only 24 percent of registered voters is largely a tale of corporate-friendly elitism and tone-deaf egotism at the top of the California Democratic Party. Continue reading

Nina Turner’s loss is oligarchy’s gain

Turner's defeat is a victory for an array of wealthy individuals and corporations alarmed at her willingness to challenge such corporate powerhouses as Big Pharma, insurance firms and the fossil-fuel industry.

The race for a vacant congressional seat in northeast Ohio was a fierce battle between status quo politics and calls for social transformation. In the end, when votes were counted Tuesday night, transactional business-as-usual had won by almost 6 percent. But the victory of a corporate Democrat over a progressive firebrand did nothing to resolve the wide and deep disparity of visions at the Democratic Party’s base nationwide. Continue reading

Arizona Republicans are fanning Trump’s 2020 big lie, and spreading confusion about how votes are counted

A lack of an easily understood vote-counting process creates a void filled by disinformation.

The “big lie” that President Joe Biden was not legitimately elected is not going away. One reason is Americans who care about their democracy are not learning how votes for president in 2020 were counted and verified—neither from the big lie’s promoters nor from most of its fact-driven critics. Continue reading

Who’s afraid of Nina Turner?

What's at stake in the special election is whether progressives will gain a dynamic champion in the House of Representatives.

Nina Turner is very scary—to power brokers who’ve been spending big money and political capital to keep her out of Congress. With early voting underway, tensions are spiking as the decisive Democratic primary race in northeast Ohio nears its Aug. 3 finish. The winner will be virtually assured of filling the seat in the deep-blue district left vacant by Rep. Marcia Fudge when she became President Biden’s HUD secretary. What’s at stake in the special election is whether progressives will gain a dynamic champion in the House of Representatives. Continue reading

Inside the Arizona right-wing election ‘fraudit’

Trump’s agents produce more propaganda, not proof. Meanwhile, outside auditors are poised to release more evidence of the election’s accuracy.

Two competing efforts to assess the accuracy of Arizona’s 2020 presidential election results have reached dramatic turning points as July began. An effort led by Republican state senators and pro-Trump activists has erupted in a new wave of false claims about the presidential election results. Meanwhile, an outside effort led by experienced election auditors was poised to release the most detailed factual data yet by which the integrity of the election could be assessed. Continue reading

Supreme Court guts what’s left of the Voting Rights Act

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court early Thursday morning gutted the little that is left of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by upholding two racist election laws enacted in the 2020 battleground state of Arizona that make it much more difficult for minorities in that state to vote. Continue reading

As Republicans stall election reform in the U.S. Senate, democracy comes under greater strain

Both parties are vying to change who votes and how ballots are cast.

For now, the U.S. Senate Republicans have blocked sweeping election reform. They argued that America’s elections are not in crisis and are best run by rules set by states. Meanwhile, in capitals across battleground states, numerous Republican legislators have been claiming elections face numerous threats and have passed dozens of laws, the most aggressive of which curtail voting options, newly police the process, and empower party loyalists at post-Election Day counting stages. Continue reading

As Arizona wraps up hand count of 2020 ballots, new questions about accuracy arise

The state Senate’s contractors created 15 subtotals. Outside auditors examined 10,341.

The hand count of 2.1 million paper ballots from 2020’s presidential election in Arizona’s most populous county has reached a turning point. Inside Phoenix’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the last boxes of ballots—said by observers to hold the final votes that lifted Joe Biden to a 2020 victory in Maricopa County and statewide—have been manually tallied. Continue reading

Global fascists seize on Trump’s election fraud dogma

Fascist candidates around the world have challenged their own electoral losses as the result of “election fraud,” with their parties and supporters using Trumpian language like “Stop the Steal” and “fake election” in attempts to substantiate their groundless claims. Continue reading

Rural teacher Pedro Castillo poised to write a new chapter in Peru’s history

With his wide-brimmed peasant hat and oversized teacher’s pencil held high, Peru’s Pedro Castillo has been traveling the country exhorting voters to get behind a call that has been particularly urgent during this devastating pandemic: “No más pobres en un país rico”—No more poor people in a rich country. In a cliffhanger of an election with a huge urban-rural and class divide, it appears that the rural teacher, farmer and union leader is about to make history by defeating–by less than one percent–powerful far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, scion of the country’s political “Fujimori dynasty.” Continue reading

Texas Democrats walk off House floor to block ‘one of the ugliest voter suppression bills in the country’

"This is the kind of fight we need from our legislators."

Texas Democrats blocked final passage of a Republican-authored voter suppression bill late Sunday by abruptly walking off the state House floor, denying the chamber’s GOP majority the quorum necessary to proceed to a vote. Continue reading