After Record Turnout, Republicans Are Trying to Make It Harder to Vote


Louise Kelly, a record 158 million Americans voted last November. Many cast their ballots early and by mail well now, in the aftermath of President Biden's victory, some Republican state lawmakers are proposing bills that would effectively make it harder to vote. Here to talk us through what is happening with voting laws in three states where the 2020 election was really close our Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting, Abigail, since key of WK are in Lansing, Michigan. And been Giles of Cage's in Phoenix. Arizona. Welcome all three of you. Thanks. Thank you. Thank you for having us, Steven. I've got to start with you. Not only because George is my home state, but because there has, of course been so much focus on Georgia and on Trump's efforts to throw out Biden's victory there. What are GOP lawmakers they're discussing. Well this week, Many Republican lawmakers who pushed false claims of election fraud have signed on to a number of bills in the Senate aimed at making it harder to vote. And that's after Democrats flipped both U. S Senate seats and help defeat President Trump. They would do things like Ban absentee ballot. Dropbox is severely restrict who could request a mail in absentee ballot and would undo the so called motor voter law that automatically updates your voter registration. Whenever you go to the D. M V. Now there are a few proposals that seem most likely to be enacted. One would add some sort of security requirement when you request an absentee by male vote in the future, such as writing your driver's license I d number or sending in a photocopy of your I D when you request a ballot, All right, let's head west over to Arizona Been a zoo, you know Well, Biden's victory was razor thin there as it was in Georgia. What is the debate unfolding where you are? Well, we're seeing voting laws that would impact every step of the voting process. Starting with getting registered. One measure would make it more difficult for county officials to go out into the community and hold voter registration drives. There was even a bill to abolish the incredibly popular vote by mail system in Arizona. The sponsor backtracked off that idea within hours of introducing the bill. What other ideas include requiring people to get early ballot envelopes notarized that's been described by some as a poll tax, and another proposal says You could get an early ballot mailed to you, but you couldn't tell it back. They want you to hand deliver it to a polling place, and perhaps the most controversial ideas would directly impact the presidential election results. One plan would divvy up electoral college votes by congressional district like Maine and Nebraska. Another would actually let the Legislature straight up, revoke the certification of results and let lawmakers pick who gets the electoral college votes. Wow. Um, Abigail. How about Michigan Democrats control the executive branch, but Republicans control the Legislature. How does that dynamic play out in terms of what's happening with voting laws on the discussion over what to do with him in Michigan? Well, it's been a real split screen. We have Democrats and clerks who are pointing to this election as the safest and most secure of their careers. Bar. Bayram is one of the clerks from the larger counties and Michigan, and she called on Republicans this week to say what's been clear throat. All of these hearings that this election was fair and free of fraud. At the end of the day. If people do not want to believe this backed, they're not gonna believe it. Regardless of how many audits are performed. Reports are issue or how transparent the processes and in Michigan are. Democratic Secretary of State is saying she wants to do things like male absentee ballot applications to registered voters and federal elections. Republicans are countering with things like putting cameras on unstaffed ballot. Dropbox is neither of those are likely to get very far. But there is middle ground on issues like making sure there's common training for pole challengers on Stephen and been a quick quick reaction from each of you on that. How much of this in your state? It is. Real policy proposal. How much is for show? Well, Mary Louise after the last couple months of hand wringing over votes we've seen top Republican lawmakers in Georgia say that they're not going to do some of the more extreme proposals. They're not for cutting, no excuse absentee voting, and many of these bills are likely just to appease their constituents who say that more needs to be done. Why do Republicans in your states say changes like this are necessary, Given that there were no major issues with absentee voting in the 2020 election, Given that federal officials have confirmed it was the most secure election in American History. Stephen Bendy one. Do you want to take that one? Justification in Arizona is Pretty simply put as distrust, citing the misinformation that's out there and citing the fact that there are a lot of these Republicans constituents who say they have doubts whether or not those doubts are based on any valid information. Republicans have kind of push past that and just said the fact that there are doubt justifies continued discussions about the election. And changes to the law that they say might inspire some more confidence

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