State legislatures across the United States are seeing Republican sponsored "voting reform" bills.
The impetus is a false belief a Republican presidential election loss—by a President who failed to garner a 50% average approval rating for four years—is definitive proof of election and voter fraud and not the will of the people.
Characterized as solutions in search of a problem given lack of any widespread fraud, voting rights advocates labeled the GOP backed voting reform as voter suppression.
But GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky disagrees.
In a Fox News interview, McConnell declared there is no voter suppression.
However voting rights advocates cited restrictions added by these laws on voting by mail, limitations placed on types of ID that can be used in states requiring voter ID, eliminating polling places and ballot drop boxes in areas with minority voters, limiting voting hours and early voting.
Most of the restrictions adversely affect the working poor, students and racial and ethnic minorities. Statistically these are populations less likely to vote Republican.
In the Fox News segment, host Mike Emanuel asked:
"The voting rights bill only got 50 yes votes it needed 60."
"It wasn't even close to passing."
"Was this a messaging bill all along?"
Ignoring the 68% of Americans who supported the bill and portraying Republican Senate votes as representative of voters, McConnell replied:
" Well, I think so."
"And if the President wants to keep on talking about it, we would like to keep on talking about it, too."
"Because there is no voter suppression going on in any state in America."
"And the bill they were trying to pass would have taxpayer dollars spent on political campaigning."
"Would turn the federal election commission from a judge into a prosecutor."
"In other words, make it unbalanced."
"And prevent photo I.D. at the polls, something supported by 80% of Americans."
"So, if the President wants to keep on talking about this bill, so do we."
McConnell again ignored the support for voter ID did not support excluding all free, but easily verifiable forms of official photo ID like student IDs and tribal enrollment cards. Restricting photo IDs to only expensive and more difficult to obtain forms is voter suppression.
People called McConnell's claim shameless and the GOP's true goals transparent.
If the GOP can't attract voters, they'll make sure as many non-supporters as possible can't vote.
Some came with receipts.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, by May of 2021 in the wake of Donald Trump's resounding loss, states enacted more than 20 laws designed to make it harder for United States citizens to vote with more certain to come.
Whether the GOP will admit it or not, many of the voters who rejected Trump and Republicans will find it more difficult to vote in 2022's midterm elections unless steps are taken.