The latest overblown Republican claims of voter fraud have been thoroughly debunked, now that a federal judge has blocked a massive voter purge in Texas, and accused GOP election officials there of creating a “mess” that intimidated vulnerable voters.
But instead of eating crow, Republicans are doubling down. In Texas, even as a federal judge intervened, Republican state senators were advancing a bill that would erect fresh barriers to registration and voting. And President Donald Trump, having tweeted in January that the supposed illegal voting in Texas was “the tip of the iceberg” told GOP officials this week that they needed to be “careful” in upcoming elections, “because I don’t like the way the votes are being tallied.”
Nevertheless, GOP voter fraud claims and voter restriction efforts could come back to haunt Republicans in 2020. In Texas, the debacle that began when GOP Acting Secretary of State David Whitley announced erroneously in January that 95,000 noncitizens had registered in Texas, and 58,000 had voted, removed more than a dozen eligible voters from the rolls. (They were later reinstated.) Latino voting rights advocates, who successfully sued to block the Texas purge, predict a voter backlash.