How the GOP Rigs Elections

By a journalist that has made election rigging his bailiwick, Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot, the seminal work about modern voting rights and election chicanery.

Wisconsin was always a reliably blue state: home of Sen. Robert LaFollette, one time socialist candidate for president; part of the progressive revolution of the late 19th, early 20th centuries; home to a vibrant labor movement; the student movement of the 1960s, etc.

It took work to make that state part of the Trump coalition, but it wasn’t honest work, no sir.  Scott Walker, wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries survived a recall effort in 2010 because of so many fair minded Wisconsinites (about 10%) who didn’t like him but thought the recall unfair.  That fair mindedness so common among Democrats/liberals/progressives is a virtue that is often used against them to plunder the commons.  What’s really unfair is what Walker and his GOP storm troopers have done to the state since – eroding voting rights, labor rights, consumer rights – they’ve been a model for how a state government can be deranged into serving the 1% rather than their citizens.  The GOP has become expert at that.

How the GOP Rigs Elections

In 2012, Obama carried Wisconsin by seven points, and Democratic legislative candidates received 51.4 percent of the statewide vote, but Republican candidates won 60 of 99 seats in the Statehouse. Under the Republican map, the number of safe GOP seats in the 132-member legislature increased from 55 to 69, and the number of swing districts decreased from 24 to 13. It’s a practically foolproof system: No matter what happened nationally, Republicans would maintain control of state politics.

The aggressive toxic gerrymandering that Wisconsin’s GOP pushed through over the people of the state, is on trial in the Supreme Court this year.  As is NC’s and Pennsylvania’s.  All these states and more took advantage of their 2010 election win like Larry Nassar on a gymnast and they should be blown up in like fashion.


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