Ok, I admit it. Republicans have been warning us that massive election fraud is real for years. In last year’s Florida election, Donald Trump warned us that the vote count was “massively infected” with “large numbers of new ballots” showing up “out of nowhere” while other ballots were “missing or forged.” And he claimed election officials were suspiciously “finding votes in Florida and Georgia” after the election. Trump also insisted “I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
And the Republicans even put their money where the president’s mouth is. They diligently combed through voter rolls, removing anyone who was the least bit suspicious. They passed laws requiring voters to show ID in order to vote. They insisted on allocating billions of dollars to build a wall to keep illegal aliens from flooding into the US in order to vote. But we didn’t believe.
Now, we have an actual case of election fraud. A well documented case that by all appearances changed the result in a federal election.
That’s horrible! Why didn’t we listen?
Well, as New York magazine puts it “The irony is pretty rich“. This was election fraud, not voter fraud. There is no evidence of people voting illegally at all. What there is plenty of evidence of is that absentee ballots were massively tampered with by a Republican operative — hired by (and with the knowledge of) the Republican candidate for a congressional seat in North Carolina:
Unused absentee ballots were fraudulently filled out with signatures forged, and actually filled-out absentee ballots cast for the “wrong” candidate were discarded.
It is obvious that none of the Republican remedies for voter fraud — tighter voter-ID laws, purges of voter rolls, or closer scrutinized voter-registration drives — would have made any difference at all. In fact, the only real purpose of these Republican remedies is to suppress people from voting, people who typically vote Democratic. That’s why in Texas, the GOP passed a law making a concealed-weapon permit acceptable ID for voting, but not a student ID.
And now that there is an actual case of election fraud (albeit committed by Republicans), the same Republicans who argued “The sanctity of the vote must be protected at all costs” are now strangely silent. When Trump was asked about the fraud in North Carolina, he changed the subject to imaginary fraud elsewhere. Other Republican politicians, and right-wing news outlets, have also been silent.