Wave of new voting laws raises questions about voter access and integrity

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Bob Bauer:

This battle, I think, can be put into two categories.

I mean, there have always been disagreements between the politics — between the two political parties around this fundamental conflict between one party looking to expand access and the other party troubled, it claims, by the threat of fraud, restricting access, in the interests of so-called election integrity.And I fall fairly squarely in the Democratic pro-access camp.

However, that’s one set of arguments. They have gone on for some considerable period of time. They helped shape the last enactment on this topic by the Congress, the Help America Vote Act, immediately after the Florida recount.

But there’s another battle line. And that’s over whether or not we’re going to respect the fundamental institutions, as Ben just said, by which we administer the electoral process, whether we’re going to depoliticize or protect those institutions from being depoliticized — from being politicized.

And that is something that a new battle has broken out about, the attempt of politicians to intimidate and harass election officials, to call into question the work that they do both in the original counterbalance and then subsequently in recounts. That is a profound attack on democratic institutions.

And that’s something around which the two political parties should agree action needs to be taken to prevent it.

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