01/21/22

Kaleigh Rogers, a technology and politics reporter at FiveThirtyEight, appeared on Hill.TV’s “Rising” to discuss new restrictions on voting being passed in a number of states.

“We track more than 500 bills. About 50 of them were actually passed into law, and they were across many different states,” Rogers said, adding that the restrictions range from voter ID laws to more extreme policies like control over local election board officials.

“A lot of it is being funneled or fueled by belief in the big lie, so constituents think that there was something wrong with the 2020 election and they want to see their lawmakers respond to that and do something about it, and so this is how a lot of Republican lawmakers are responding,” she continued.

Rogers attributed some of the changes in the laws to the pandemic, but added that the level of new voting barriers was out of the ordinary. 

“We haven’t quite seen this level of new voter restriction laws coming in, and to some extent, that makes a lot of sense because there was so much voter expansion to the pandemic, you would expect to see some of those being rolled back as we go back into kind of more normal election cycles, but it goes even beyond that,” she said.

“If you’re introducing any kind of barrier to voting, no matter how small, if it’s not addressing a specific problem or security issue, that is voter suppression point blank,” she added, citing conversations she has had with experts on the topic.

President Biden recently made remarks about election legitimacy during a press conference at the White House on Wednesday.

During that press conference, the president would not say the results of 2022 elections would be legitimate without the passage of election law reforms.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has since clarified that Biden was not casting doubt on the legitimacy of the upcoming midterm elections, but was instead saying results would be illegitimate if states followed directives made by then-President Trump after the 2020 election to “toss out ballots and overturn results after the fact.”

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