In 2016, Senate Republicans refused to even hold hearings on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, waiting a year to see if they could get a president they liked better in office. The message of the Republican senate was clear — only “their” president would get to nominate a Supreme Court justice.
In late 2017, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tried to block special elections to replace outgoing state legislators, because he was afraid Republicans wouldn’t win them. Just over six months later he was forced to allow those elections by the state court, but the fact remains the governor of Wisconsin tried to prevent lawful elections in order to help his party stay in power.
About two weeks ago, Maine Gov. Paul LePage threatened to refuse to certify the results of the June primary elections. LePage objects to them, because Maine’s voters adopted a “ranked choice” voting system — twice — through legal ballot initiatives that he didn’t support. Since he didn’t support it, he argued that he shouldn’t have to ratify the will of the voters.
Just over a week ago, the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 verdict saying that Ohio can purge its voter rolls of people who haven’t voted in the past three elections. (Ohio’s argument is that if you haven’t voted in three elections, you can reasonably be assumed to have moved to another district and so should be taken off the voter rolls.) So the Supreme Court, by one vote, is allowing Ohio’s Republican governor to stop thousands of people who haven’t moved and therefore otherwise legally have a right to vote from doing so. (They could re-register, yes, but that assumes they find out in time that they’ve been purged. Are you going to tell them?)
President Trump’s presidential campaign manager is under investigation for having illegal contacts with a foreign government seeking to influence our elections. He has been jailed for tampering with witnesses in that case. Whatever the results of that investigation, Trump campaign officials have now admitted that they had a lot of meetings with the Russians that they lied about — to Congress and the American people — before.
The Republican governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has a documented history of using his office to allow convicted felons to vote again if they say they support him, and denying the voting requests of felons whose conservative credentials aren’t vouched for. A lower court ruled that this is impermissible; Scott is appealing. It might go to the Supreme Court.
Neither the Republican Senate leaders nor the governors of Wisconsin, Maine, Ohio or Florida have suffered any consequences for treating elections or the right to vote this way. There has been no movement within the Republican party to say “this isn’t what we stand for.”
These are facts. Draw your own conclusions.