Rand Paul: Democrats Stealing Elections By Convincing People To Vote For Them!
Republicans really struggle with democracy. It’s just not their bag. Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky shared an article on Twitter from the American Conservative that supposedly explained how Democrats restored Wisconsin’s blue hue in 2020.
How to steal an election: \u201cSeeding an area heavy with potential Democratic votes with as many absentee ballots as possible, targeting and convincing potential voters to complete them in a legally valid way, and then harvesting and counting the results.\u201dhttps://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-wisconsin-purchase/\u00a0\u2026— Senator Rand Paul (@Senator Rand Paul) 1640631743
The article’s called “The Wisconsin Purchase,” and features a photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose
Jewish money billions apparently helped Democrats win Wisconsin. Yeah, it’s real subtle.
Writer William Doyle insists that Democrats cheated in Wisconsin and declares “the outcome of the 2020 election in Wisconsin is not the outcome that would have occurred if the election had been conducted on the basis of established election laws, equal treatment of voters, and administrative neutrality.” This is Big Lie rhetoric, which claims (falsely) that Democratic victories in swing states were inherently corrupt. You’ll recall that the 2018 Georgia governor’s race did not treat voters equally or possess any semblance of administrative neutrality, but Republicans have defended those results.
Doyle calls universal absentee balloting a “radical” move that caused chaos, even though vote by mail is conducted legally in several states already. He also ignores that the election occurred during a pandemic and universal absentee balloting was safe and benefited everyone. (Stacey Abrams didn’t force Donald Trump to turn his own supporters against mail-in balloting.)
Here’s the the passage from the article that Paul quoted in his tweet: “Seeding an area heavy with potential Democratic votes with as many absentee ballots as possible, targeting and convincing potential voters to complete them in a legally valid way, and then harvesting and counting the results.”
Paul describes this as “how to steal an election,” but it’s actually how political campaigns work. “Targeting and convincing potential voters” to complete ballots is basic canvassing. This isn’t nefarious. It’s not like closing polling places specifically in Democratic-heavy areas where most minorities live.
Doyle quotes Hayden Ludwig of the Capital Research Center, a supposed “expert on mail-in voting.” (The Capital Research Center is an openly partisan conservative non-profit.)
The surge of mail-in ballots due to Covid-19 was one of the 2020 election’s greatest novelties and the key to how the election was manipulated in favor of Joe Biden.
This is the conservative lie that Democrats “exploited” the pandemic rather than helped ensure the election was conducted safely. Conservatives don’t mention how Democrats didn’t canvass door-to-door out of respect for public health, which arguably cost them down ballot.
The resulting tsunami of mail-in ballots created unprecedented security and chain-of-custody problems in states where vote-by-mail has never been tried on this scale. It strained the U.S. Postal Service’s ability to deliver mail-in ballots both to voters and vote-counters on-time.
What a perverse account of events — Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy sabotaged the US post office, hoping to rig the election. Trump held up COVID-19 aid in August so he could block funding for mail-in voting. Ludwig grossly blames Democrats for the results of Trump’s corruption.
Paul isn’t the only asshole to freak out over so-called “ballot harvesting.” After the 2018 midterms, Paul Ryan whined that Republicans kept losing races when all the votes were counted.
“It defies logic to me,” Ryan said in a wide-ranging interview with Washington Post reporter Paul Kane. “We had a lot of wins that night, and three weeks later we lost basically every contested California race. This election system they have, I can’t begin to understand what ballot harvesting is.”
Republicans make “ballot harvesting” seem like someone stealing your kidney after a Tinder hookup. It's simply the gathering and submission of completed or mail-in voter ballots. This isn’t a scam (Paul even admits that the completed ballots are “legally valid”). It helps enfranchise voters who live in remote areas, are disabled, or lack reliable access to transportation.
This certainly frustrates Republicans who actively work to disenfranchise Democratic voters. Republicans aren’t shy about how they don’t want every citizen voting. A true democracy isn’t in their best interests.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."