The shifts that led to this year’s surge in voting, in particular the broad expansion of voting options and the prolonged period for casting ballots, could forever alter elections and political campaigns in America, providing a glimpse into the electoral future.
A backlash from the right could prevent that, however. In many ways, the increase in voting is what Mr. Trump and the Republican Party are now openly campaigning against in their floundering bid to overturn his clear loss to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. — whose popular vote lead grew to seven million on Friday. Republicans have portrayed the burgeoning voting ranks as nefarious and the expanded access to voting options as ripe for fraud — despite the fact that the record turnout provided them numerous victories down ballot.
Though Mr. Trump and the party have not managed to prove a single claim of fraud in the courts — where they and their allies have lost or withdrawn dozens of cases — Republicans at the state level are vowing to enact a new round of voting restrictions to prevent what they claim — without evidence — is widespread fraud.