Further emboldened by former President Donald Trump's lies that the 2020 election was "stolen" from him, Republican officials are continuing their crusade against voting rights in order to boost their chances of winning elections.
Even after these election lies prompted a mob of pro-Trump extremists to storm the United States Capitol in a deadly failed insurrection, Republican state legislatures across the country have introduced a slate of proposals designed to limit people's access to vote under the guise of preventing voter fraud, a statistically insignificant threat.
In response, the Democrat-led House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, a sweeping election reform bill that expands voting rights and limits partisan gerrymandering.
The Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, recently voiced opposition to the legislation in an interview with far-right Fox News host Maria Bartiromo.
Greg Abbott suggests Dem election reform allows 'using cocaine to buy votes' www.youtube.com
Bragging that he sued the Obama administration dozens of times during his time as Texas Attorney General, Abbott told Bartiromo:
"They're trying to institutionalize voter fraud in the United States of America. ... It was Barack Obama himself who knew about the dangers of ballot harvesting in the state of Texas because under his administration, he sent his U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas as well as the FBI to South Texas to arrest and to prosecute people who were involved in ballot harvesting that were using cocaine to buy votes through the ballot harvesting process in the state of Texas."
Abbott was referring to an investigation after the 2012 election that saw five arrests of campaign workers who allegedly bribed voters with dime bags of cocaine, though the effort was not targeted toward national elections and is unproven to have had significant influence on the elections that year.
People dismissed Abbott's hysteria on social media.
🤣🤣🤣... Abbott suggests Democratic efforts to reform elections would lead to "using cocaine to buy votes" #SmartNews https://t.co/QZoAbRahJm— Tony Thetford, APR (@Tony Thetford, APR)1615785888.0
He's off his freaking rocker. Greg Abbott suggests Dem election reform allows 'using cocaine to buy votes' https://t.co/WNp9E9ZMdg— YellowRoseTexas🇺🇸🌊🌊🌊🇺🇸 (@YellowRoseTexas🇺🇸🌊🌊🌊🇺🇸)1615736957.0
Hmmm. Where did that come from? Is cocaine better than dollars to good ol' Gov. Abbott? https://t.co/RH8VbpJCiA— Judith08 (@Judith08)1615738793.0
They have completely run out of arguments against the For The People Act. They're about one step away from saying t… https://t.co/V9CISd5xqg— Jason Kander (@Jason Kander)1615774256.0
Geezus, where exactly does Gov. Abbott get said votes/cocaine? https://t.co/9US5N1400H— Lisa Boike 🐶🦋🐠🌻🥑🥖🍿 (@Lisa Boike 🐶🦋🐠🌻🥑🥖🍿)1615753961.0
Many consider the GOP's crusade against voting rights a far greater threat than so-called voter fraud.
Simply Asinine!!! He said: “Everybody shouldn’t be voting.” They are now saying the quiet part out loud. Re… https://t.co/72DK6TQtek— Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair (@Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair)1615746929.0
“If you’re mad about racism in the British royal family, let me tell you about how, in 2021, Republicans have intro… https://t.co/MygUHBW23L— FEISTY😈 (@FEISTY😈)1615552879.0
More than anything, Republicans fear voters! https://t.co/GZ1sWoo6fG— Vince Teeter (@Vince Teeter)1615763182.0
H.R. 1 faces an uphill climb in the Senate, where Democrats hold a razor thin majority.