With countless lies flying out of the Trump chaos machine every day (and who knows if he actually has COVID-19 or not) it’s often hard to make simple A-B-C connections among administration scandals, crimes and the president’s feverish machinations to stay in power. Mr. Trump reserves the option of physically terrorizing voters at the polls on Election Day, telling armed hate groups to “stand by.”
All that is well-known, we are marinating in it all the time. Here’s one conspiracy (to “defend election integrity”) that’s relatively easy to follow.
Discredited election fraud conspiracy theorist Hans von Spakovsky, lawyer for the right-wing Heritage Foundation, has been coordinating multi-pronged Republican voter suppression efforts across the country. Republican state officials are determined to prevent the fraud that von Spakovsky’s own numbers show occur at a rate of far less than one ten thousandth of one percent, 0.000004%.
“A” is von Spakovsky and his efforts to get Republican governors and Secretaries of State on the same page.
ANDREA BERNSTEIN: Mike and Jake found an example of what it looks like for elections officials to be on the same page as von Spakovsky. In July, a voting rights group in Ohio publicly advocated that more absentee ballot drop boxes be placed at schools, libraries and other public places across the state’s 88 counties so that voters could vote more easily. According to a July 15 email, one of Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRosa’s deputies immediately called and emailed von Spakovsky asking to discuss the matter. Weeks later, LaRosa announced he did not have the authority to add more than one ballot receptacle per county. Voting rights advocates say that will make it harder for people who want to avoid the crowds of a polling place to cast a vote. They’re challenging the decision in court. Just this August, von Spakovsky invited officials to another meeting. The invitation said the convening would, quote, “gather the chief state election officials together to strategize on advancing their shared goal of ensuring the integrity of the elections they administer in their home states.” This time, a new official joined the group, a Trump appointee from the Department of Homeland Security.
“B” is the announcement, by the Ohio Secretary of State (after consultation with von Spakovsky) that he is only authorized to place one drop box in each of his state’s eighty-eight counties. A seemingly arbitrary assertion that can only be challenged in court. Roll the dice, a Federalist Society judge might sign off on the plan.
“C” was reported in the New York Times the other day:
Citing security, Texas governor limits counties to one spot each for in-person ballot drop-offs.
You can read the sad details here, further proof of the ongoing, aggressive, nationwide Republican conspiracy to reduce the number of votes in Democratically leaning areas . One assumes lawyers and voting rights advocates in Texas will go to court to challenge this clear attempt to suppress the vote, as they have in other states where Republican state officials are defending “voting integrity,” according to von Spakovsky’s recommendations.
In defense of these slimy-seeming voter suppression moves, with the secret participation of presidential appointees, as Republicans often say, “the Democrats would cheat too, if they had the power!”
Y’all on the same page, boys?
 New York Times:
The state’s decision to reduce options for voters to drop off their ballots comes as questions of voting rights, voter suppression and the integrity of the election have emerged as major issues in the 2020 campaign, and it follows disputes over drop boxes in other states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Courts are examining an order by the Ohio secretary of state which, like Mr. Abbott’s, would allow only one drop-off spot per county. In Pennsylvania, Republicans sought to ban drop boxes entirely, but a court rejected their challenge.
“The state of Texas has a duty to voters to maintain the integrity of our elections,” Mr. Abbott said in a statement accompanying his proclamation. “As we work to preserve Texans’ ability to vote during the Covid-19 pandemic, we must take extra care to strengthen ballot security protocols throughout the state. These enhanced security protocols will ensure greater transparency and will help stop attempts at illegal voting.”
There is no evidence that mail-in ballots lead to widespread fraud.