Republican election ‘fraudits’ a key part of their plan to destroy democracy
Former Arizona Republican Secretary of State and businessman Ken Bennett overseeing a 2020 election ballot audit ordered by the GOP-led Arizona Senate. | Ross D. Franklin / AP

The GOP “fraudits” underway now in Arizona and elsewhere were never about a belated installation of Donald Trump as the real president of the United States. They are not mere silly exercises designed to keep a sore loser ex-president happy and therefore supportive of certain Republican candidates. They are instead a purposeful part of a multi-pronged plan by a now clearly neo-fascist GOP to destroy elections and with them democracy itself in America.

Here’s how the plan works and how it would throw us all into a real living nightmare:

The GOP passes draconian laws in swing and other states to make it difficult if not impossible for groups opposed to its rule to vote.

Then it conducts its phony audits in those same states and elsewhere. The audits uncover what the GOP describes as proof positive that the last election was stolen, further undermining the already weakened confidence voters have in our elections.

In the latter part of 2021, the GOP draws new district lines that are even more gerrymandered than the ones we now have.

Following that, with depressed voter turnout and new lines entirely favorable to the GOP, they win control of the House of Representatives in 2022. The possibility of preserving or enacting any kind of progressive legislation becomes effectively non-existent.

Last year, a majority of GOP lawmakers in the House refused to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential elections. In 2024, under Republican control of the House, the GOP-dominated House refuses to certify a Biden re-election win or the victory of any other Democrat who might run.

Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors, May 6, 2021, in Phoenix. The audit, ordered by the Arizona Senate, has the U.S. Department of Justice saying it is concerned about ballot security and potential voter intimidation arising from the unprecedented private recount. | Matt York / AP

Stopping the fraudits and the new draconian election laws could literally be the last possible chance to preserve democracy in the United States. There are federal laws on the books that require voting machines in the states to be kept safe and under lock and key between elections. The Justice Department must step in immediately to stop Republican-run states from turning those machines over to right-wing conspiracy theorists who have their dirty hands on them in Arizona now and possibly soon in many other states.

Congress must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the For the People Act so that the voting restrictions the GOP is enacting across the country will become null and void. Democratic Sens. Manchin and Sinema must get out of the way. By blocking filibuster reform, they will go down in history as key actors in the destruction of democracy in America.

And perhaps most important of all, the people must turn out in massive numbers to deliver a stunning rebuke to the GOP in 2022. The fraudits are specifically designed to discourage voters from turning out in the necessary numbers, but that must be overcome.

The alternative to this course is that the GOP, within two years, will have turned our elections into fake and shameful shams. We will be a country run by a Republican Party in league with fascist parties around the world, including Golden Dawn in Greece, Fidesz in Hungary, and the Law and Justice Party in Poland. The GOP’s domestic platform of tax breaks for the rich, nothing for working and poor people, and a sexist and racist outlook on all matters, along with its ability to make meaningless our elections, will effectively end democracy in the U.S. Even worse, they are doing this out in the open, making no attempt to hide what they are about.

At first, many in the media treated the “recount” in Arizona as just an outlying move by fanatical Trump supporters to carry out an absurd process that a few fanatics hoped would re-install Donald Trump as president despite his clear loss of the last election.

We know now that it is much more than that. The plan is to do this everywhere they can. There are teams of Republican legislators from other states where the party is in control visiting the scene of the Arizona fraudit and mapping plans to start the process in their states, too. Among those states are Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and possibly others.

The fraudits lay the groundwork for an attack on democracy as serious as the new laws that curtail and limit the rights of Black and other minority voters. The premise is that the votes cast by minority voters were fraudulent and that minority voters themselves are frauds, “lesser people” not worthy of even voting. It is the stuff of dictatorships—turning elections into sham processes designed to keep autocrats in power, or in our case, restore them.

The authoritarian values of the GOP line up completely with those pushed by their fascist counterparts in Europe. Freedom of the press, for example, is held in equal disdain by the leaders of Golden Dawn in Greece and the GOP in the U.S. The Republican Party introduces state laws that make demonstrations illegal, just as its sister fascist parties in Europe do.

Passage of the two big voter protection laws, swift action by the Justice Department to halt the fraudits, and a massive turnout in 2022 to defeat the GOP at the polls are likely our last chance. Let’s not blow it.

As with all op-eds published by People’s World, this article reflects the opinions of its author.


CONTRIBUTOR

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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