The run-up is American Middle Ages (midterms), the Republican Party is more in the grip of former President Donald Trump than ever. His accusations of election fraud were a key part of the Republican Party’s strategy to capture the midterms. That could have major consequences for the presidential election in 2024 and for American democracy in general.
“So what are we going to do, people? I only need 11,000 votes.” It’s January 2, 2021 and Trump has been on the line with Brad Raffensberger for over an hour. He’s the Secretary of State for Georgia – so he’s responsible for the election process in that state. Trump asks his party colleagues to find “enough votes” (11,780) so that the state goes to the incumbent. Raffensperger refuses. Trump lost the election.
What appears to be a desperate last ditch strategy in 2020 could become an even more decisive factor during the midterms of the year. Because in the meantime, the seeds of electoral doubt have been planted in the Republican Party’s strategy to win the election. And it will be successful for years to come.
Trump’s allegations of election fraud have had exactly the desired effect of sowing doubt. Believe now Two thirds Current President Joe Biden is unfairly elected by Republican voters. “It means they’re doing everything they can to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” says American expert Victor Willam.
Hence an inescapable link to so-called Trump supporters Precision strategy (loosely translated: ‘adjacent strategy’) Republicans are now using. That strategy means they want to maximize their influence across the country at as local a level as possible.
‘Army’ of Republican Vote Counters and Lawyers
The strategy took shape when former Trump adviser Steve Bannon urged supporters on a podcast to volunteer at the polls, preferably in heavily Democratic areas. “We are going to win the elections again, village by village, district by district. They cannot stop us,” he said. After his call, the number of Republicans seeking to become elected officials soared.
Vote counters are instructed by Republicans before the midterms on how to sow as much doubt as possible about the validity of the votes. For example, by questioning voters’ identification documents or by questioning the operation of voting machines.
All these reports are collected and then used as ‘evidence’ for electoral fraud. In addition to voting volunteers, the party is hiring lawyers to present this evidence in cases. Politics. “It’s really going to be an army,” said the integrity director of the Michigan Republican Party.
Republicans in key positions
And that army consists of more than volunteers and lawyers at the polls. Republicans are trying to put their people in leadership positions at the polls. “In most cases, they’re elected positions. That means people show up on the ballot. But sometimes there’s only one candidate because it’s hard to find people anyway. So if a Republican runs an operation, they’ll probably be there. Get it,” Vilam explains.
Finally, Republicans are trying to win key positions within the states. An important function, for example, is the Secretary of State. That person is usually (the exact function varies from state to state) responsible for organizing elections. “For example, they can create barriers that make it difficult for some people to vote,” says Vilam. He or she may initiate an investigation into vote rigging or conduct a recount.
In many states, Republican suffragettes run for political office. This is happening in Arizona, for example, where the party is pushing loyal Trump supporters for three key positions (Secretary of State, Governor and Justice Secretary). In such a state, moreover, with massive claims of voter fraud coming from polling stations run by Trump supporters, the group’s influence is widespread and relatively large.
Even as Trump tries to win more votes from the top in 2020, Republicans now want to sow doubt about the outcome from the bottom up.
‘Harm to electoral system’
or the Precision strategy The question will seriously affect the results. “It doesn’t have a big impact at the individual level. But because it’s now about different people in many places, there really can be an impact,” Vilam explains. This influence can be particularly significant in states where differences in outcomes are small.
So the strategy is worrying, says Vilam. “I think this strategy can cause very serious damage to the electoral system. It can result in a result that is not in line with the will of the people. This is definitely a big problem in democracy,” he says.
“I think it erodes confidence in democracy. Even if it doesn’t affect the outcome, these kinds of tactics can still make Democrats lose confidence in the outcome. And if you don’t trust them, your foundation democracy is lost.”
What can Democrats do about it? Not much really. Republicans’ methods are legitimate. “The problem is: what’s legal isn’t always ethical,” says Villam. “You can be within the bounds of the law and still do harmful things.”
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