The same liberals who mock Republican concerns over voter fraud were quick to peddle conspiracies of their own regarding Georgia’s governor’s race, in which Democrat candidate Stacey Abrams refused to concede her loss for over a week.
She called the race “rigged,” and the Democratic establishment catered to those delusions. Senator Sherrod Brown said of the race that it goes to prove “[Republicans] can’t win elections because there is way more of us than there are of them. They can’t win elections fairly. They win elections by redistricting and reapportionment and voter suppression and all the ways they try to scare people, particularly people of color.”
The claims were echoed by sore-loser-in-chief Hillary Clinton, who said: “If she [Abrams] had a fair election, she would have already won.”
What Are the Claims of Rigging Based On?
The claims of “rigging” weren’t created out of thin air, but instead, are based on a misunderstanding of two events in Georgia:
- The fact that 53,000 voter registrations have been deemed “pending” by Georgia, and most (70%) are for African-American and other minority voters.
- Georgia purging 107,000 inactive voters from their voter rolls in July 2017 (and most inactive voters were minorities), though it’s also charged that 700,000 voters were purged over a two year period.
Since it was minority groups (who vote Democrat, on average) disproportionately affected in both cases, these two events naturally led to accusations of Republican disenfranchisement. But here’s the thing – nothing prevented those allegedly-disenfranchised groups from voting in Georgia’s elections.
A “pending” registration in Georgia doesn’t mean one is unable to vote. To give some background information, Georgia requires prospective voters to submit either a driver’s license or Social Security number in order to register to vote. Sometimes there are discrepancies when information from a driver’s license or SSN is cross-checked against the relevant database (such as my driver’s license listing my name as “Matt” and the government database its cross-referenced against listing my name as “Matthew”).
These are minor discrepancies that are inevitable, hence why voters with “pending” registrations have an entire 26 months to fix the errors – and can still vote as long as they present a driver’s license or valid photo ID at the polls. In other words, if they could register to vote (without an SSN), they can vote.
What of those inactive voters purged? In Georgia, people who don’t vote for a period of three years are marked “inactive,” but are immediately notified that they’ve been designated as such. All those purged from the registrations were notified via a prepaid return postcard telling them that they were inactive, and can become active again by returning that very postcard with the appropriate information. It’s hard to allege disenfranchisement when those supposedly behind it are also making it possible for one to re-register to vote for free in a process that shouldn’t take more than five minutes. What’s the liberal counter-argument, that people can’t afford pens to fill out their postcards?
And did I mention that Georgia’s “use it or lose it” policy towards voting stems from legislation in the 1990s that was passed by Georgia Democrats?
Regardless, let’s remember that those purged hadn’t voted in the past three years. What evidence does Abrams have that even a single one of them was going to suddenly get up and vote for her? Every “inactive” voter who wanted to vote was able to resolve that issue the day they learned they were inactive.
Instead of claim Republicans were “rigging” Georgia’s elections, why wasn’t there instead a concerted effort from Democrats to educate Georgia voters that they’re still able to vote even if their registration is “pending,” or to remind them to re-register? I guess they’d rather push the narrative of “Republican rigging” than actually win an election. And I can’t complain about that – but the record does need to be corrected.