In pursuit of election control, Trump loyalists face few obstacles

“Donald Trump and many people in his orbit were frankly ahead when it came to fundraising and organizing behind the candidates who supported the Big Lie,” said Miles Taylor, a former head of the department. of Mr. Trump’s homeland security, who this year helped launch the Renew America Movement, an organization supporting Republican and Democratic candidates running against Trump-backed Republicans.

Mr Taylor said that although his group is now active in congressional races, it does not yet have the resources to compete with candidates endorsed by Trump in state competitions. The Democratic Party was also not able to fill the void, he said: “In a lot of these places, Democrats have no hope of winning statewide elections, and whatever. account, this is the primary. “

In other areas, Democrats are disadvantaged by pre-existing political losses. In 23 states, Republicans control both state legislatures and governors’ residences. Democrats control both in just 15 states.

The legislatures that Republicans now control have over the past year become laboratories for legislation that would remove roadblocks that stood in the way of Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 results. In seven states this year, lawmakers have proposed bills that would have given partisan officials the ability to alter election results in various ways. While none were passed, the Republican-led legislatures in Arizona and Georgia passed laws that directly removed various election monitoring responsibilities from secretaries of state – legislation that appeared to target specific officials directly. who had been vilified by Mr. Trump.

“We’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Wendy Weiser, vice president for democracy at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, who co-wrote a recent report on new legislation at state level.

Ms. Weiser and other advocates have called for federal legislation to prevent such efforts. “We have to have this in order to have a comprehensive response,” said Norm Eisen, co-chair of the United States United Democracy Center. But with Democrats most likely to lose one or both houses of Congress in the next two election cycles, the time to pass is fleeting.

Several electoral and voting rights reform bills have failed this year over a unified Republican opposition in a Senate where Democrats hold a one-vote majority. Ten Senate Republicans would need to break ranks in order to overcome the party’s obstruction of the legislation. Only one, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, has voted for one of the bills so far.

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