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Opinion: Election law changes were never about security
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Voters cast their ballots Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, at the Brenau Downtown Center at the Gainesville IV voting precinct. - photo by Scott Rogers

I’d like to commend Bette Holland for her letter pointing out how President Trump’s lawyer Sidney Powell has suggested “no reasonable person” would believe her claims about election fraud “were truly statements of fact.” Powell has thus admitted her claims about election fraud and stolen elections were lies. And yet these claims and others like them form the Republican “justification” for pushing through their partisan legislation aimed at decreasing the ability of legitimate citizens (typically Black, minority, elderly, and poor) to access the polls and vote.

It’s interesting to recall Republicans were perfectly fine with the status quo of the electoral system — right up until they lost an election for two senators and a president. Then suddenly there was an emergency and an urgent need to “fix” the election system. We know what to call that. 

Many conservatives insist the presidential election was stolen. It wasn’t. The courts looked at Trump and the GOP’s “evidence” and ruled they had no legal basis to overturn the election. The GBI investigated and said the ballot signatures it checked were valid. Our governor and secretary of state said the election was valid. The manufacturer of the election machines sued for damages after some conservatives claimed the machines were fixed. No one has found any evidence proving the election was stolen. Not Trump, not Trump’s lawyers, not the courts, not the governor or secretary of state, not the GBI and not you. 

The appropriate resolution should be to acknowledge the voting demographic has changed, and therefore Republicans should modify their political positions to garner more votes. That’s how democracy is supposed to work. 

Instead, you seek to prevent enough of your opposition from voting to assure your victory — without changing your positions. If you do that, we don’t have democracy, just the tyranny of a mob. It’s the same tyranny of the mob that invaded the Capitol to disrupt and stop the counting of electors. The same mob that necessitated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

The point being, what conservatives are doing now is fundamentally the same thing they were doing then. 

Dick Biggs suggested in his letter common sense, civility, debate and truth don’t matter to liberals. That’s a real piece of work considering the way Republicans behaved after the recent election. We remember Republicans saying the election was stolen, Trump was the real winner, Democrats cheated, the Georgia governor and secretary of state were crooks, there was no Capitol riot or insurrection, etc. That argument has no credibility. 

It’s like the previous Republican claim of election fraud through voter impersonation. That lie was used to justify the photo ID law for voters. 

I have previously shown Republican security claims weren’t credible because their numbers didn’t add up. In addition, the 2020 Georgia Poll Worker Training Manual does not instruct poll workers to actually compare the photo on the ID to the face of the person presenting it. Why require the photo if you don’t use it? This was never about security.

Bruce Vandiver


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