WASHINGTON — Republican officials at all levels of government have spread misinformation and conspiracy theories about the presidential election, falsely claiming widespread voter fraud to undermine President Biden’s victory and appease Trump. Last month, we saw those lies culminate in violence at the U.S. Capitol. Now, the Republican State Leadership Committee is launching an “election integrity commission” aimed to address nonexistent election fraud and “restore integrity” to America’s safest and most secure election in history.
Let’s be very clear about their actual aim: to connect Republican legislators and secretaries of state to coordinate methods of voter suppression. The “commission” will be led by conspiracy theorist and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally, made baseless claims about illegal voting in Michigan, and supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the presidential election results and the will of the voters.
Republicans may claim they want to protect election integrity, but their policies say otherwise. GOP lawmakers have introduced over 165 bills in 33 states that would make it harder to vote:
- Georgia Republicans introduced legislation that would restrict access to absentee voting and another bill would require mail voters to submit copies of their ID. Legislators also want to eliminate automatic voter registration and ban the use of ballot drop boxes.
- In Arizona, Republican lawmakers proposed purging or even ending the state’s permanent early voting list, requiring voters to notarize absentee ballots, and eliminating mail voting entirely.
- Pennsylvania Republicans introduced a spate of voting restrictions, some of which would end no-excuse absentee voting in the state, even though the policy was passed with overwhelming support just two years ago.
- Republicans in Arizona and Pennsylvania introduced bills that would let legislatures disregard the popular vote entirely when selecting presidential electors, and lawmakers in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and New Hampshire want to change the way the state allocates electoral votes.
Republican state lawmakers have also repeatedly refused to affirm President Biden’s decisive electoral victory. To restore faith in our elections, Republican need only stop lying and reaffirm that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen.
“Republicans are using the lies they told about election integrity to launch a coordinated effort to roll back voting rights nationwide,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “If you have any doubts about their motive, look no further than the hundreds of pieces of restrictive voting legislation supported by Republicans moving through our state legislatures or the hundreds of GOP lawmakers who spread the lie that our safe election was stolen which emboldened domestic terrorists to storm the U.S. Capitol. Republicans are working to make sure that they never lose another presidential election and we need to do everything in our power to stop them.”