Breaking: Court Ends Consent Decree Against RNC “Ballot Security” Activities, Raising New Risks of Voter Suppression

As I expected, a federal district court has ended a consent decree in place since 1981 against the Republican National Committee against so-called “ballot security” measures which seemed aimed at suppressing minority voter turnout.

I recently explained in Slate why this worries me:

With the consent decree gone, the RNC will for the first time in 35 years be free to begin anew efforts to spur purges of voter rolls and take potentially suppressive ballot security measures in the name of preventing voter fraud. No doubt RNC lawyers would advise against taking these steps, at least for a while, to forestall the DNC from running back to court seeking to have the consent decree reinstated.

But with Trump the real head of the Republican Party these days, it is quite possible he could order a national effort to combat phantom voter fraud, just like he did with his own campaign. Indeed, making false claims about Democratic and minority voter chicanery is a cornerstone of Trump’s divisive agenda. Yelling voter fraud riles up the base, helps with fundraising, and can depress minority voter turnout.



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