Not Even Playing GOP Pet Trick Vote Suppression Games

Sen. Paul Lundeen (R).

Pat Poblete at the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political blog reports on a Republican bill introduced in the Colorado Senate, Senate Bill 21-007, to crack down on the “problem” of millions of Coloradans voting by mail with no good reason other than it’s, you know, convenient–a.k.a the law of the land in Colorado since 2013, resulting in some of the highest voter participation rates in the country with none of the bad scary stuff Republicans warned consistently would result by making voting easier on purpose instead of harder:

[Sen. Paul] Lundeen’s bill would require voters to cast ballots in person either on election day or in the six-day period leading up to election day. It would still allow voters to cast ballots by mail, but would require voters to opt in to receive a mail-in ballot. Colorado’s current system sends all registered voters a mail ballot.

In an interview with Colorado Politics, Lundeen said the proposal was “drafted as a placeholder” and intended to kickstart the legislative process. He noted that while former Secretaries of State Wayne Williams and Scott Gessler testified at a contentious December Legislative Audit Committee hearing on election integrity called by Republicans, Griswold did not.

Lundeen is referring to the “hearing” convened by Republicans on the Legislative Audit Committee on December 15th, which featured anticlimactically tame testimony from thoroughly discredited Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, former Colorado Secretary of State and for-hire “election truther” Scott Gessler, himself a known purveyor of unfounded election conspiracy theories in his official capacity, and other similarly credibility-free conspiracy types.

But those Republican witnesses, who couldn’t come up with even credible allegations of fraud in Colorado’s election let alone evidence, were opposed by just enough fact-based witnesses and Democratic lawmakers to re-establish conclusively for the record that Colorado elections are accurate and secure. Of course, that didn’t slow down the Trump train headed for its final wreck in Washington, D.C. on January 6th. But along with Rep. Ken Buck’s unexpected efforts to instill confidence in Colorado’s election results with base Republicans, the momentum for continuing to question the results of the 2020 elections definitely slowed locally after these events.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold was under no obligation to provide any statement to a meaningless hearing convened in the only venue Republicans had even the power to call one. Her office did so anyway by way of a written statement, and combined with the conclusion by all parties at this hearing including Jenna Ellis that there was nothing identifiably problematic about Colorado elections, that should have been the end of it.

“When the Secretary of State did not come interact with the legislature when it convened a hearing to say, ‘How can we improve?’ It causes us to start wherever we can start,” he said. “And so this is the beginning of a conversation…” [Pols emphasis]

Full stop. A “conversation” about what? How does getting rid of the all-mail ballot system that made Colorado a national leader in voter participation “improve” anything? Why would we make this dramatic change, or for that matter any major change, to an election system that works better than basically anywhere else in America? Where is the problem crying out for a solution, other than hopefully more states following Colorado’s example?

We hope it’s a brief “conversation” in the committee the bill dies in, because this is a waste of everyone’s time.

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11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. 2Jung2Die says:

    If they're trying this kind of junk in Colorado, just imagine what's likely to get proposed in other states in the world's greatest democracy! Plus, some of it will pass, unlike Lundeen's bill.

  2. NOV GOP meltdown says:

    How can we improve disenfranchise ?  They're still using the guise of non-existent problems to keep people from voting.  Sigh.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      This superior-white-man ideology has been playing #cancelculture since the mass slaughter of Native Americans.  

      To quote Trae Crowder, “they just can’t not”  

      They’ve slightly civilized themselves and moved on from enslavement and lynching to gerrymandering, voter suppression, and preserving the filibuster. 

    • notaskinnycook says:

      They have to, Meltdown. When more people vote, Republicans lose. That's what they're trying to "fix".

  3. Sunmusing says:

    this is the next step in the qgop's attempt to stop the vote…this is nation wide…and it seems to be a confederacy of dunces pushing anti-voting bills in most of the red states…they know they cannot win without cheating…and they are trying to cheat…this smells like the koch boyz….We must assume that any and all republicans are going to try to overthrow our Democratic republic…the qgop has become the major hate group in our Nation, using terrorist tactics to further their political agenda…

  4. 2Jung2Die says:

    From Twitter so take with a grain of salt, but the bill number's listed if anyone wants to research:

    Senate subcommittee votes 3-2 to end at-will absentee voting in Georgia, making it only available to those over 75, a doctor's note or out of town. SB71 advances to full committee.

  5. 2Jung2Die says:

    From The Independent. I'm no ethicist, but this sorta seems kinda sorta bad:

    There are currently 165 separate pieces of legislation pending in 33 states to restrict access to the ballot. The three states with the most proposals — Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia — were carried by Biden in 2020, but are Republican-controlled…

  6. Republican 36 says:

    Sen. Lundeen is no ones fool.  He knows his bill is /DOA but when you're looking at running for higher office, he will be able to tell the Republican base he tried.

  7. MichaelBowman says:

    Georgia Republicans Are Doubling Down on Voter Suppression

    Georgia Republicans introduce new voter suppression bill eliminating Sunday voting, when Black churches hold Souls to the Polls drives.

    They're not even hiding the racism.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      And if I were a Black candidate in Georgia, from a school board to the U.S. Senate I’d say the quiet part out loud in all my campaign ads. “These voter ‘integrity’ bills are designed to keep Black people from voting. Why? Because  Republicans know that when Black citizens vote, Republicans lose. So follow all their ridiculous rules, register, and help us vote ’em out!”

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