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A demonstration against voting restrictions in Atlanta, Georgia.Derek White/Getty Images

 

Since the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump has claimed he was cheated out of victory.

In the United States, Trump’s party, the Republicans, has been gradually restricting the right to vote by law ever since. They make participation difficult for groups where the Democrats have many supporters.

A strategy that some German politicians are beginning to emulate.

The storming of the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021 was a wake-up call about the fragility of US democracy. A year later, the country’s citizens feel a deep division in society. Then-President Donald Trump, instigator of the riot, moved out of the White House. But his ideas, his lies about the election victory he allegedly stole, remain popular with his supporters. Trump even promised an amnesty for the convicted stormers of the Capitol. With a view to the midterm elections in November, the US is in a crisis of democracy.

Disinformation about the presidential election has consequences

This is the result Democracy Report 2021 by the Swedish research institute “Varieties of Democracy”, which analyzes political developments worldwide. Accordingly, democracy in the USA is “decreasing significantly”. In its Democracy Index, the United States scores 0.73, a significant drop from 0.86 points in 2010. This is due in part to Trump’s repeated attacks on the media, opposition politicians and the significant weakening of the de facto controls and balances of the Legislative branch in the executive branch,” according to the institute. The decline in democracy in the US is said to be directly related to Trump’s policies.

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Since Donald Trump shortly after the 2020 vote claimed, this was the result of a “rigged” election, high-ranking members of his Republican party tried to invalidate the results. It started with a disinformation campaign called “Stop the Steal“: An insinuation that the Democrats had manipulated the presidential election. This reached high-ranking Republicans nationwide. So batMichigan Republican leaders asked their state election board not to formally confirm the results of the presidential election. In the two months following the election, 63 Republican lawsuits filed against vote counting. None was successful, the election result was confirmed again and again.

Since then, the radicalism of Trump supporters has increased: For example, one said attorney for the Trump campaign that Chris Krebs, then chief of cybersecurity at the US State Department, should be “taken out and shot” for his criticism of Trump. Cancer was then tweeted by Trump a week after the election fired.

Republicans decide the right to vote

To this day, Donald Trump has the Republican Party under control, despite his relatively small presence in public life. the exclusion one of her faction leaders, Trump critic Liz Cheney, showed from her post in July 2021 that only loyal Trump supporters are tolerated as opinion leaders in the party.

Voted immediately after the Capitol storm 139 Republicans in the House of Representatives opposed to confirming Joe Biden as the election winner, even though he seven million received more votes than his opponent and had also achieved a clear, court-confirmed majority of the electoral college in the Electoral College. In doing so, they sent a signal: The outcome of the 2020 presidential election was cause for distrust in the electoral system. They want to change that for future elections.

As a result of the presidential election Brennan Center According to the report, a total of 425 bills – mainly by Republicans – were introduced in states that are intended to “restrict voting rights”. As of October 2021, 33 of these laws have been passed in 19 states. In the United States, suffrage regulations are set at state level.

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First, in March 2021, a law was passed in Iowa decided: This should shorten the period for early voting, for example by postal voting, from 29 days to 20. Three years earlier, there was a period of 40 days.

In the southwestern state Arizona a bill passed by the Senate requiring an ID card when sending absentee ballots. In Arizona, around 80 percent of citizens vote by mail. Such bureaucratization of voting “inevitably results in some votes not being counted,” according to Democratic Senator Sean Bowie. Since there is no ID requirement in the USA, about 21 million adult U.S. citizens do not have photo ID, although 20 states require this for voting.

The Republicans are also to reform the obligation to register in the electoral law. A bill in southern Mississippi could see up to 600,000 voters removed from the current electoral roll for not voting in the past four years, the report said regional newspaper Mississippi Today. The bill has since passed the Senate and has yet to be approved by the House of Representatives.

One of the most notorious cases of voting rights restrictions is the state of Georgia. A March 2021 law requires ID when applying for absentee ballots, similar to Arizona. According to the state government, 200,000 citizens lack such a card. Such a law would make it particularly difficult for African American or immigrant voters to vote. These groups relatively rarely have such documents. Georgia’s African American community is making waves one third of the state’s residents – and according to polls, 88 percent of this group supported Trump’s competitor Joe Biden in the last presidential election.

This week, in a speech in Atlanta, the Georgian capital, Biden announced his plan to counter such attempts by Republicans to influence him. The President wants to abolish the controversial Fillibuster rule in the Senate. No new federal legislation protecting voting rights has yet been passed because their vote has been blocked in a Senate Republican “filibuster” of endless speeches. Biden is getting support from party colleagues like Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader.

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In Germany, Republican tactics are imitated

Trump’s manipulation theses also find supporters in Germany, above all in the AfD. “The presidential election in America is proof of how problematic voting by mail can be. Irregularities keep popping up,” said the AfD MP Torben Braga in the Thuringian state parliament. His conclusion: “It’s no coincidence that postal voting is to be introduced right now, even mandatory.”

The parliamentary group leader of the Thuringian AfD, Björn Höcke, hinted at possible election rigging in Germany with a view to the US elections: “Where there really was election rigging, we in Germany – which is still a central country in Europe – have to assume that it will also be attempted here,” he said a week before the general election. He did not bring any evidence for such a thesis.

In fact, there is still no evidence that the federal elections were manipulated in this country. But the goal of the AfD is obvious – following the example of the US Republicans: to stir up mistrust of the electoral system and to distinguish itself as the only supposedly honest political voice.

And although there is no evidence in Germany or in the USA that there is any truth to the claims of manipulation, the narrative is getting caught. Because in Germany, too, trust in democratic institutions seems to be shaky: in one study 30 percent of those questioned by the Körber Foundation stated that they had no trust in democracy in Germany. In the US, only 47 percent of US citizens trust the voting system, according to a study by the research firm “Morning Consult“.

This article was last updated on February 6, 2022. It first appeared on January 17, 2022.

The post Republicans restrict voting rights in the USA – AfD copies the strategy appeared first on Live Feeds.

This content was originally published here.

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