The National Ballot Security Task Force was not some rogue enterprise, or an ill-conceived product of a few extremist thinkers. It was funded by the Republican Party.
While the group’s goals were ostensibly to prevent illegal voting, it was difficult to take that at face value — it looked a lot more like a coordinated intimidation effort. Republicans hadn’t been afraid to say publicly that they didn’t want certain people to vote, after all. Paul Weyrich, co-founder of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said in a speech in 1980: “I don’t want everybody to vote. … our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the von 2018, the RNC was released from that consent agreement, and in May 2020, the RNC and the Trump campaign announced that they would spend $20 million to litigate initiatives like vote-by-mail and that they would recruit 50,000 poll watchers across 15 states. ”The RNC does not want to see any voter disenfranchised. We do not. We want every voter who is legally able to vote to be able to vote,” said RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel on a call with members of the press in May. “But a national vote-by-mail system would open the door to a new set of problems such as potential election fraud.” All this effort despite little conclusive evidence that voting by mail benefits one party over the other.
“The GOP’s whitewashed political reality is no accident — the party has repeatedly chosen to pursue white voters at the cost of others decade after decade. Since the mid-20th century, the Republican Party has flirted with both the morality of greater racial inclusion and its strategic benefits. But time and again, the party’s appeals to white voters have overridden voices calling for a more racially diverse coalition, and Republicans’ relative indifference to the interests of voters of color evolved into outright antagonism.”
Attacks on voter franchise are more broad than voter ID laws, of course. Voter roll purges have moved front and center in recent years thanks to events like the controversial 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election. And last year, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis found that the closure of polling places across the state had made it more difficult for Black voters to cast their ballots.