Rand Paul Inadvertently Tells The Truth About Republican Voter Fraud Claims

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, one particular of the Republican Party’s staunchest devotees to the lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump, ongoing to unfold this kind of claims this week — and in the process shipped one particular of the extra truthful statements about voter fraud and stolen elections any Republican lawmaker has built this 12 months.

“How to steal an election,” Paul tweeted Monday evening, prior to quoting a blog submit from The American Conservative. “‘Seeding an spot hefty with prospective Democratic votes with as a lot of absentee ballots as attainable, targeting and convincing probable voters to complete them in a legally valid way, and then harvesting and counting the effects.’”

The attached piece, which purportedly explained Democrats’ and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s initiatives to “steal” Wisconsin for President Joe Biden last 12 months, failed to provide any evidence of nefarious conduct: In its place, it documented efforts to “encourage and Enhance Absentee Voting” and “dramatically develop strategic voter schooling & outreach initiatives, especially to traditionally disenfranchised citizens.”

As Paul’s tweet helpfully observed, all of these endeavours have been completely respectable: The phrase “legally valid” is prominently showcased in the sentence he chose to excerpt. Schedule audits of Wisconsin’s elections, meanwhile, developed no proof of fraud or irregularities in final year’s contest. 

But evidence of fraud is not the point of this declare or any other Paul, Trump and various Republicans have created around the previous 12 months — or, genuinely, about the final ten years. As Paul’s tweet said additional plainly than Republicans generally do, their statements about voter fraud, stolen elections and “election integrity” are merely euphemisms for the GOP’s precise perception that “people voting for Democrats” is adequate to render an election totally illegitimate. A Democratic victory is, by definition, the result of theft. 

Online video: Rand Paul’s historical past of voting versus disaster aid

Tale proceeds

This is the main belief of the modern day Republican Social gathering, which reacted to the 2020 election by spreading lies about election fraud, making an attempt to overturn Trump’s reduction, and fomenting a riotous insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, all simply because Trump dropped what many Republican, Democratic and independent election observers have continuously referred to as the most secure, most protected and most audited election in American heritage. When that did not attain their desired final result, they institutionalized the aims of the insurrection, passing extra than 30 new laws to limit voting rights and asserting new amounts of partisan command above neighborhood and point out election techniques ahead of the up coming presidential contest. 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has routinely spread lies about the 2020 election.  (Photo: Pool via Getty Images)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has routinely spread lies about the 2020 election. (Photo: Pool through Getty Photos)

These endeavours have all generally qualified voters that have a tendency to favor Democrats ― Black people today, Latinos, Native Us citizens, school college students, individuals with disabilities, and any individual who life in towns or other localities that commonly vote blue. And they are all obviously rooted in Republican anger that also a lot of voters voted for Democrats, not that any person might’ve solid ballots illegally.

In Ga, Republicans included stricter voter ID requirements to absentee ballots, tightening entry to a vote-by-mail software the GOP produced additional than a 10 years back in a way they never ever felt was vital till Biden turned the initially Democrat to gain the condition given that 1980. In Arizona, the GOP-controlled legislature designed related modifications to absentee ballot legal guidelines they originally enacted, immediately after Biden notched Democrats’ initial presidential victory there in far more than two a long time. In Texas — wherever it’s by now more challenging to vote than in most other states — they barred push-via voting and imposed other new voting limits in an exertion to ward off possible Democratic victories in the close to foreseeable future. 

Republicans and their conservative allies have also qualified election officers and offices in critical states, purging or stripping ability from these who created it far too easy to vote or refused to go along with Trump’s election gambit, part of a broader hard work to bend the 2024 election to their liking ― or try out to overturn the end result if they require to. In Wisconsin, the topic of Paul’s tweet, Republicans have sought to undermine the electoral method they just reformed fewer than a 10 years ago and are trying to forcibly swap the state’s leading elections official. 

None of this will prevent the type of nefarious conduct their plenty of utterances of “voter fraud” are intended to evoke, equally since that kind of conduct is extremely rare in American politics and because true voter fraud has under no circumstances been the goal of their ire. But neither will insisting to Republicans, or to conservative voters who believe that their statements, that voter fraud does not truly come about triumph in thwarting the GOP’s makes an attempt to suppress votes and subvert American democracy. 

It is painfully apparent what Republicans are hoping to do, and why. Paul was simply, if most likely inadvertently, candid about it: To the fashionable GOP and an more and more huge share of its conservative foundation, there is no these kinds of detail as a “legally valid” vote for a Democrat, and no these types of issue as a authentic election if a Democrat wins it. 

This post originally appeared on HuffPost and has been up-to-date.

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