Two Republicans have been charged with distributing phony sample ballots in an Ohio city. The purported small-town crimes are misdemeanors but still stand as the most prominent allegations of election fraud so far in this off-year election.
GOP officials lambasted the timing of the charges as despicable. But the top prosecutor in the case says the law was clearly violated.
The incident is also a reminder that — while President Trump has made repeated, emphatic and unsubstantiated allegations about widespread voter fraud by the Democrats in 2016 and other contests — election malfeasance is a bipartisan problem and the biggest instance of election tampering in the 2018 midterm was perpetrated by Republicans, prompting the do-over of a North Carolina congressional race.
Congress may have given up on making Election Day a national holiday, but state lawmakers may have just begun their fight.
The catch-all reform bill passed earlier this year by the House of Representatives originally included language to make Election Day a national holiday. But even before the bill died on the steps of the Senate, House members stripped out that language.
But advocates for the cause can look to the statehouses, which are considering related legislation in record numbers.
In 2019, lawmakers in 23 states filed 47 bills related to Election Day holidays, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures and additional reporting.
How do you know when you've seen a gerrymandered district? Maybe it looks like a duck or a snake, or a pair of earmuffs. Or maybe there's no obvious sign that the mapmakers played games with the contours in order to ensure a particular electoral outcome inside those boundaries.
The last contests using the current set of congressional maps are a year away. After that, the results of the 2020 census will be used for the redistricting of the entire country — assuring a fresh burst of gerrymandering by politicians with the power to draw maps designed for keeping themselves in power. (The North Carolina districts mentioned below are very likely to get altered before the next election, however, to settle a lawsuit alleging the current map favors Republicans so much as to violate the state Constitution's "fair elections" clause.)
We asked half a dozen people who have studied the way American political maps are drawn to reveal their best examples of the most flagrant current gerrymandering. Of course there are plenty of ways to approach that task. In some cases, the really odd shapes make it easier. In others, experts need to dive deep into demographic data to discover the most egregious examples of packing and cracking.
Georgia is looking to take even more people off the election voter rolls in the coming months (about 330,000) than have registered to vote so far this year (310,000).
The astonishing but seemingly coincidental similarity of those big numbers helps underscore, once again, how the state has become one of the nation's prime voting rights battlegrounds just as it has also become a newly competitive battleground electorally.
After one of the closest governor's races of last year, Democrats have high hopes for toppling the GOP's 14-year hold on all statewide contests by staging strong runs for both of the state's Senate seats and Georgia's 16 electoral votes. But the party's chances rest heavily on a huge turnout, especially by African-Americans and people who only think about voting in presidential years.
That could be made more difficult after the coming purge, which will target registrants who have not cast ballots in several years. The state estimates the vast majority of those people have died or moved away, and those who are still in Georgia but have been politically inactive will get a chance to keep their registration current.