Wednesday, December 8, 2021

No-confidence vote likely to continue despite smooth elections

ATLANTA (AP) — A year after relentless attacks on voting rights and election officials, the first major election day went off without a hitch. Unlike the 2020 presidential election, there were no claims of widespread fraud, ballots mysteriously going out in the dark of night Or changing the results from tampered voting machines.

The relative peace was a relief to those who oversee elections, but does it matter to those who still believe last year’s election was stolen from former President Donald Trump?

Election experts say that even a smooth election cycle this year is unlikely to curb the mistrust that has built up over the past year within a section of the public. That skepticism has led to costly and time-consuming partisan ballot reviews, threats to election officials, and new voting restrictions in Republican-controlled states.

“I am extremely concerned that we are not at the end of this,” said David Baker, a former US Justice Department attorney who now heads the Center for Election Innovation and Research. “We are not in the middle of it. We are at the beginning of it, and with the exception of professional election officials who are doing their job with their heads down, no one is addressing it particularly well right now. “

No evidence of widespread fraud or other wrongdoing has been found With the 2020 election looming, and those claims have been dismissed by judges, election officials, and Trump’s own attorney general. Still, two-thirds of Republicans said Joe Biden was not legitimately elected president, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. Held two weeks after Biden’s inauguration.

Tuesday’s election had the same problems as Election Day that were quickly resolved: power outages, technical problems with equipment or too few ballots at particular polling places. Confusion over reporting election results in New Jersey circulated on social media. The Republican gubernatorial candidate, Jack Ciatarelli, had not yet admitted, but said after the election that he did not want supporters to “be victims of wild conspiracy theories or online rumors.”

Ahead of Virginia’s high-profile gubernatorial election, Trump said in a statement that he “did not believe in the integrity of Virginia’s elections, that a lot of bad things happened, and are going on.” Yet in his statement congratulating Republican Glenn Youngkin, Trump made no mention of fraud and attributed the victory to his own supporters.

Matt Masterson, a former top election security official in the Trump administration, noted that there has been little change in how elections in the US are going between 2020 and this year.

“These are the same systems, the same people, the same processes,” Masterson said. “Election officials did their job in 2020, and they did it again in 2021.”

They were quickly apprehended when problems arose. The Ohio Secretary of State conducted an administrative oversight of the home of the state’s most populous county, Columbus, after it failed to properly update its voting books. and allowed three people to vote twice, although this did not affect the outcome of either race.

Elections are mostly well underway, that hasn’t stopped Republican officials from making claims about electoral fraud, even in places where Trump and Republicans have voted in 2020 to justify new voting restrictions. Won easily and where election officials did not report any problems.

Read Also:  Cambodian court orders early release of 5 activists

Trump’s aide, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, earlier this week called for a new state office to investigate election crimes. He also calls for new laws that would add more restrictions to ballots and increased penalties for those who collect ballots for others.

“I am excited that with this law, our state will be able to enforce election violations, combat voter fraud, and hold violators accountable,” DeSantis said in a statement.

Mail voting was extremely popular last year amid the pandemic and helped drive higher turnout in Virginia this year. And it was Republicans who did well Tuesday in Virginia, where Democrats had expanded the reach of voting in recent years. It no longer requires voters to provide an excuse to cast mail ballots.

But GOP lawmakers still say rules for mail ballots should be tightened to address public concerns about fraud, even if there is no evidence of it.

In Ohio, Republicans have introduced two bills to rewrite the state’s election laws. One calls for prohibiting off-site ballot drop boxes, eliminating one-day early voting, and tightening the state voter ID requirement. The second goes even further – reducing early voting from 21 days to six, eliminating absentee voting without excuse, and banning drop boxes altogether. Trump won the state easily, but lawmakers behind the second bill cited the possibility of fraud to justify their proposal.

State Rep. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican who sponsored the less stringent bill, believes Biden was legitimately elected, but regrets that the controversy over the 2020 election results has led to a rational discussion of voting issues. made difficult.

“That’s what happens when you try to do something fair in an environment that doesn’t have a fair,” he said. “Democrats will kneel in opposition to anything they see as restrictive of voting, and a swath of Republicans will oppose anything they see as an added convenience on voting.”

Election officials said it was important to remind the public that there were no widespread problems with the 2020 election, which was dubbed the “safest” in US history. by a group of federal, state and local election officials.

“It’s not something that went wrong that we’re going to fix,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jenna Griswold, a Democrat. “This is something that really happened right in 2020. We had the safest election in US history, with record turnout among both Democrats and Republicans. And the lie is about that.”

The lies surrounding the 2020 presidential election also sparked death threats against election officials that continued a year later.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson described what the nation is facing as a “five-alarm fire” and called on industry and community leaders to help protect democracy.

“Those trying to destroy democracy have shown us time and again that they have nowhere to go when it comes to lying and deceiving voters,” said Democrat’s Benson. “We must take them at their word and believe them, and spend every day confronting their lies with the truth.”


Associated Press writers Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Florida, and Julie Carr Smith in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news
- Advertisement -