The New York Times continues to vituperatively attack Republican efforts to keep the voting process secure. Recent moves by GOP-led legislatures in Florida and Texas caused the latest meltdown in Friday’s edition: “Texas G.O.P. Pushes to Join Florida in Limiting Ballot Access.” The text box: “A sign of how much a party has embraced Trump’s election lies.”
Reporters Nick Corasaniti and Reid Epstein exaggerated:
Hours after Florida installed a rash of new voting restrictions, the Republican-led Legislature in Texas pressed ahead on Thursday with its own far-reaching bill that would make it one of the most difficult states in the nation in which to cast a ballot.
The Texas bill would, among other restrictions, greatly empower partisan poll watchers, prohibit election officials from mailing out absentee ballot applications and impose strict punishments for those who provide assistance outside the lines of what is permissible.
The paper did its best to portray the reasonable measures as frightening.
After the early-morning vote, Sarah Labowitz, policy and advocacy director of the A.C.L.U. of Texas, said in a statement, “Under cover of darkness, the Texas House just passed one of the worst anti-voting bills in the country.” She added, “Texans deserve better than to wake up and find out that lawmakers jammed through a law that will make participating in our democracy harder and scarier.”
Florida and Texas are critical Republican-led battleground states with booming populations and 70 Electoral College votes between them. The new measures the legislatures are putting in place represent the apex of the current Republican effort to roll back access to voting across the country following the loss of the White House amid historic turnout in the 2020 election.
The Times tried hard to hook the Florida and Texas moves to Trump’s election-win fantasies:
Republicans have pressed forward with these bills over the protests of countless Democrats, civil rights groups, faith leaders, voting rights groups and multinational corporations, displaying an increasing no-apologies aggressiveness in rolling back access to voting.
The efforts come as Republicans in Washington are seeking to oust Representative Liz Cheney from her leadership position in the House Republican caucus for her continued rejection of former President Donald J. Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, and as Republicans at a party convention in Utah booed Senator Mitt Romney for his criticism of the former president.
The tone lurched into left-wing feverishness about the “Big Lie” proffered by Trump.
Together, the Republican actions reflect how deeply the party has embraced the so-called Big Lie espoused by Mr. Trump through his claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
Democrats, gerrymandered into statehouse minorities and having drastically underperformed expectations in recent state legislative elections, have few options for resisting the Republican efforts to make voting harder.
In Georgia and Texas, progressive groups applied pressure on local businesses to speak out against the voting measures. But Republican legislators have been conditioned during the Trump era to pay less attention to their traditional benefactors in chambers of commerce and more attention to the party’s grass roots, who are aligned with the former president and adhere to his lies about the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, Corasaniti and Epstein let Democrats push the partisan “voter rights” bill in Congress, which has passed the House and is waiting in the Senate. Among other things, it would automatically register 16-year-olds to vote, end voter ID requirements, and give felons who’ve served their sentence the right to vote. The Times dropped the scare tactics:
Democrats argued on Thursday that the Republican crackdowns on voting in Florida and Texas had made it more urgent for the Senate to pass the For the People Act, which would radically reshape the way elections are run, make far-reaching changes to campaign finance laws and redistricting and mitigate the new state laws.