Elections are about more than who wins and who loses. The New York Times reporter Astead Herndon takes us beyond the horse race to explore how we got to this fraught moment in American politics.
Manage episode 320219633 series 1299870
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Once again, it's down to Georgia in the November 2022 midterm elections. Senator Reverend Warnock is running for reelection, and Stacey Abrams is running for governor against the incumbent Brian Kemp. It's not a question of who's going to win. The GOP’s decided it can't win, so it's figuring out how to not let the voters vote. And here's a whole new game that, hopefully, doesn't spread from Georgia. They are changing state law to allow the removal of election board officials. So, for example, Spalding County in rural Georgia had three black members plus a black election supervisor — all three black members were removed as well as the supervisor. They were replaced, and the GOP now has absolute control of that board. And it's not benign. The first thing they did was to vote to eliminate Sunday early voting, which is the traditional black voting day in many states, Souls to the Polls day, you go after church. A lot of it is because low-income people and older people don't have cars, so they go in those church vans. In addition, in Monroe County, they removed the two black Democrats from the board. One is Helen Butler, and I hate to say it, but it's probably my fault that she was removed from election board in Monroe County. She was my co-plaintiff in the successful federal lawsuit against Brian Kemp and his successor as Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, where we required them to open up their files of names of the Black, Hispanic, and Asian voters that they were flushing off the voter rolls. We won that lawsuit, and the retaliation is to remove Helen Butler from the Monroe County elections board. And these boards are really important. First of all, they determine whether voters are purged from the voter rolls. We've talked constantly about voter trickery — Crosscheck, ERIC, Use It or Lose It, all these games — all these various ways of flushing people off the voter rolls. It's not minor. We're talking about the removal of over half a million voters from the voter rolls in Georgia. With these purges, the purge lists go down to the counties, and the counties supposedly have to do their own investigation before they simply write people off the voter rolls. But I can tell you right now, Helen Butler says, if she isn't there, no one will check anything, they’ll just take these GOP hit lists and remove voters from the voter rolls.