Republicans, under fire from Democrats and larger corporations for their nationwide pressure for new voting limits, are defending their proposals that are similar or better in terms of access to voting than the election laws that some blue states already have on the books.
In statements and news conferences, Republican leaders have pointed out what they say is a double standard from Democrats and activists, who say the bills – and especially Georgia’s recently passed restrictions – are attempts to suppress the votes of the multiracial coalition that controlled President Joe. Biden’s victory last year.
In several cases, Republicans are right. Some traditionally democratic states, including large states like New York, have long-standing policies that advocates say are anti-voters. And some red states use best practices to promote voter access. The difference is that many of the blue states have moved to liberalize access to the ballot, while states like Georgia and Texas are actively moving in the other direction.
Texas Republican Dan Patrick, a Republican, said Tuesday that his state already offers more early voting days than a number of other states, with Democrats controlling both legislatures as well as the governor̵
But Texas’ GOP-controlled legislation is considering massive packages of bills that will limit early voting options, affect how polling stations are allocated, and add penalties for mistakes officials make in the election process. While nothing has landed on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk yet, Fort Worth-based American Airlines and Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Technologies, located outside Austin, have already spoken.
“So if we are somehow accused of being racist because we want to suppress the voice of the colors, I assume New York, New Jersey and Delaware are even more racist,” Patrick said during a news conference, defending one of the bills.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Made a similar argument Monday, saying the same companies criticizing red state bills have overlooked problems elsewhere.
“Rich companies have no problem operating in New York, which, for example, has fewer days of early voting than Georgia, demands excuses for absentee voting and restricts electoral conduct through refreshments,” he said. “There’s no uniform or factual standard used here. It’s just a false narrative gaining momentum by its own momentum.”
It’s an argument that is gaining steam on the right. After the mayor of Denver announced that the city would host the Major League Baseball All-Star Game – MLB withdrew from its original host city, Atlanta, in protest of Georgia’s new law – some Republicans claimed that Colorado’s voter ID requirement corresponded to Georgia, which is considered one of the strictest laws in the country.
Lawyers recognize that there is still work to be done in several democracies.
“It does not have to be a biased thing,” but New York? “Many campaigners are responding, ‘Yeah – and – New York,'” said Justin Levitt, a suffrage expert and professor at Loyola Law School at Loyola Marymount University in California who worked at the Department of Justice under the Obama administration.
Yet election policy experts warned Republicans are drawing a false equivalence, saying the argument used to justify major changes following former President Donald Trump’s election loss calls for more coherence.
“Here’s the big difference: New York, New Jersey, Delaware have all moved more and more in the last few years to increase voting options, while Georgia, Texas, Iowa have gone in the opposite direction,” Bob Brandon said , President and CEO of the non-Paris Fair Election Center, which advocates removing barriers to the ballot box.
“For example,” Colorado “led the way in expanding ways and options and as a result has among the highest turnout in any state around the country,” he said.
This is how some of the election laws and proposals are compared.
How does Colorado compare to Georgia?
Senator Tim Scott, RS.C., tweeted Tuesday that Colorado and Georgia both have law-ID laws, while Colorado has fewer days of early voting.
It is misleading thanks to the different ways in which states conduct elections. It is true that Georgia has more days of early personal voting than Colorado – at least 17 under the new law.
But Colorado, where Democrats control the legislature and the governor’s office, runs its election almost exclusively by mail. Ballot papers are automatically sent to those entitled to vote who can choose to vote in person during the 15 days in which the early voting and on election day have ended. Most voters – 94 percent, according to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold – chose to vote for the post last year.
The state has automatic voter registration for voters who apply for a driver’s license or interact with certain government agencies, and same-day voter registration for those who do not.
In Georgia, there is automatic voter registration at the Department of Driver Services. Under state law, voters must register to vote about a month before an election to be eligible. The new state law makes it illegal for the state or counties to send applications for absentee ballots.
Colorado voters are required to show ID in certain circumstances, but a wide variety of documents are eligible, including bills and payslips. Mail voters’ polls are verified using a signature match process.
Brandon said the proposal that Colorado has restrictive electoral laws is “completely false” and that the state is “among the best” in voting policy.
Georgia has one of the strictest law ID laws in the country, which only allows government or tribal photo IDs, such as driver’s licenses, passports or free voter ID cards, that counties offer.
While everyone can vote by mail, these voters must now include driver’s license numbers or other proof of their identity with documentation. Before Georgia passed its law, postal votes were verified by a signature process, as in Colorado.
What about New Jersey, New York and Delaware?
Republicans have also criticized New Jersey, New York and Delaware, the city’s home state, and have also reset early polls in those states.
Delaware and New York both passed legislation in 2019 to create permanent early voting, while New Jersey did the same last week. Once all three states have fully implemented their laws, more than a week of early voting is required by law. Texas and Georgia have approx. two and three weeks early voting.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Georgia has had both early voting and non-apology mail voting for more than a decade, though experts said the strict ID requirements could create barriers to the use of these options.
Texas limits who can vote absent by mail, even if the boundaries are somewhat looser than New York, according to research compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Texas also requires voter ID at the ballot box.
New Jersey already has emergency voting by mail; Delaware lawmakers are also considering extending the mailing mood to all voters.
The race and election administration need to be considered, experts said.
“If we want to talk about comparing one state with comparing the other, let’s see what path they are on. There is no doubt that Georgia, which already had a number of borders, has tried to make it even more difficult, said Brandon.
New York has long been criticized for a voting system that tends to favor the established by making it difficult to vote, and its electoral system, especially in New York City, has been plagued by patronage and incompetence. Levitt said the issue is less about partisanship and more about “established people who fear the electorate.”
“When you have sitting people who do not value the voters as potential voters, but as opposition elements to be feared, you get election procedures and procedures that are not big,” he said.
Does New York forbid giving food to voters at polling stations?
McConnell said in a statement Monday that New York “restricts election viewing through refreshments,” an apparent reference to criticism of Georgia’s ban on providing food or water to people queuing to vote.
Experts say many states have laws that mention food in election bans, but they say the connection with the laws is critical.
New York law banning voters from doing things like meat, drink or tobacco goes back more than 100 years, Levitt said, as political machines would show voters promises of things like whiskey and fried chicken.
New York law also includes an exception to provide refreshments to voters at polling stations that sell for less than a dollar – which is likely to cover bottled water.
Having an old bribery law about the books is very different from “looking back at that law in the current context and saying, ‘Yes, we need one of them,'” Levitt said.
“‘Another screwed up’ is not an excuse to screw up. It’s the crazy part of what’s about the ism,” he said. “It’s an argument that more jurisdictions need to get better.”