Lawmakers in 43 states have crafted more than 250 bills whose aim is to restrict voting access. Republicans claim they’re simply trying to ensure “election integrity” by making sure that people who shouldn’t vote, don’t vote. Democrats and other critics of the proposed laws contend their real intention is prevent people of color from voting.
Today during arguments in the Supreme Court about Arizona’s highly restrictive voting laws, the Republican attorney defending those laws told Justice Amy Coney Barrett that the Democrats are correct. Barrett had asked attorney Michael Carvin, “What’s the interest of the Arizona RNC in keeping, say, the out-of-precinct ballot disqualification rules on the books?”
Perhaps because he hadn’t read the RNC talking points memo – or perhaps because he knows it’s illegal to lie in court – Carvin blurted out the honest truth. “Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” Carvin said. “Politics is a zero-sum game. And every extra vote they get through unlawful interpretation of Section 2 hurts us, it’s the difference between winning an election 50-49 and losing an election 51 to 50.”
Voting rights advocates responded immediately, zeroing in on the partisan goal.
“Wow,” tweeted Wendy Weiser, a leading voting rights expert and vice president of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law. “This year, there is no longer a quiet part.”
This year, there is no longer a quiet part.
— Wendy Weiser (@WendyRWeiser) March 2, 2021
The Brennan Center for Justice says the surge in voter suppression laws is in response to “a rash of baseless and racist allegations of voter fraud” and accused lawmakers pushing such legislation of a “backlash to historic voter turnout” last year. Arizona leads the nation in restrictive proposals, the center said.