In election years, the country’s two major parties have two different sets of concerns over the integrity of the voting process. Namely, Republicans are obsessed with voter fraud, accusing Democrats of allowing millions of illegal immigrants to cast a ballot or slamming regular citizens over voting in multiple jurisdictions. A select group of Republicans even claims that the dead are still on the voter rolls.
Gerrymandering Getting Worse
By contrast, Democrats are concerned about voter suppression and gerrymandering, a widely -used Republican tactic to intentionally move the boundaries of electoral constituencies across red states to suppress racial minority votes.
The issue has become a lot worse in recent years especially after the GOP’s adoption of REDMAP seven years ago and the weakening of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. However, even though there are many instances of gerrymandering nationwide, it is very iffy to prove in court that the changes in electoral boundaries were motivated by race. Liberals had some success in proving that in Wisconsin, Virginia, and North Carolina but the war isn’t over yet.
Indiana GOP’s Tactic
In Indiana, though, the GOP has invented another tactic: political affiliation. Republicans know that minorities tend to vote blue, so in Democratic jurisdictions, they actively target the opposition.
Since 2008, the Indiana GOP has been manipulating early voting to work to their advantage. For example, in GOP-controlled districts, the number of early-voting places was increased while in Democrat-controlled areas, early-voting places became scarcer. This is what happened in the deeply-red Hamilton County and deeply-blue Marion County, respectively.
While the changes may seem minor, the implications are huge. Early votes usually account for around two-thirds of total votes in presidential elections. Early voting even helped Republican Greg Gianforte win a special election earlier this year, even though he physically attacked a reporter a day earlier.
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