Republican States are Expanding Their Power Over Elections

Several days ago, Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein of The New York Times published an article outlining several of the ways Republican controlled states are using to tilt upcoming elections in their favor.

But this year, Ms. Hollis will be removed from the board, the result of a local election law signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. Previously, election board members were selected by both political parties, county commissioners and the three biggest municipalities in Troup County. Now, the G.O.P.-controlled county commission has the sole authority to restructure the board and appoint all the new members.

Partisan election boards.

G.O.P. lawmakers have also stripped secretaries of state of their power, asserted more control over state election boards, made it easier to overturn election results, and pursued several partisan audits and inspections of 2020 results.

Republicans have introduced at least 216 bills in 41 states to give legislatures more power over elections officials, according to the States United Democracy Center, a new bipartisan organization that aims to protect democratic norms. Of those, 24 have been enacted into law across 14 states.

Removing power from one branch of government to ensure partisan control.

Republicans in Arizona have introduced a bill that would largely strip Katie Hobbs, the Democratic secretary of state, of her authority over election lawsuits, and then expire when she leaves office. And they have introduced another bill that would give the Legislature more power over setting the guidelines for election administration, a major task currently carried out by the secretary of state.

In Arizona they are not even trying to hide their contempt for democracy by writing into law a time limit based on the term of a single person. And in Arkansas,

The author of the legislation, State Representative Mark Lowery, a Republican from a suburb of Little Rock, said it was necessary to remove election power from the local authorities, who in Pulaski County are Democrats, because otherwise Republicans could not get a fair shake.

“Without this legislation, the only entity you could have referred impropriety to is the prosecuting attorney, who is a Democrat, and possibly not had anything done,” Mr. Lowery said in an interview. “This gives another level of investigative authority to a board that is commissioned by the state to oversee elections.”

Asked about last year’s election, Mr. Lowery said, “I do believe Donald Trump was elected president.”

Of course he does, but this is not about Donald Trump. It’s about the changing demographics and values in America. There is an assault against political norms from the right because culture is shifting beneath them and against them. They don’t favor an equitable and just world. This is not about meritocracy. It is aristocracy. It is also dangerous. People fight when they are threatened, but they fight like hell when they are backed into a corner and don’t see any options. Many of the politicians espousing views like those above feel their way of life is being challenged. Unfortunately, there are very few compelling ideas coming from the political right currently.

I have strong faith in America, but I worry for us. We talk about threats to democracy, like terrorism, communism, or Russia, but democracy does not fail from without, it fails from within.