I keep reading about how it’s likely that the Republicans are going to win back the House in 2022, and I keep wondering why?
What are we rewarding them for?
They’ve practically been in full scale election denial for the last two years. And that has consequences.
For example, there was a story the other day in my hometown newspaper about how election clerks around the Commonwealth are getting bombarded with public records requests by conspiracy theorists and election deniers. The article focused on the little town of Shutesbury, which I know well because one of my best friends lived there for years and years.
As reported in the Boston Globe:
On Election Day in Shutesbury, population 1,700, voters place their marked ballots into a narrow wooden box on their way out of town hall. With the turn of a crank and a “ding!” of a bell, each ballot gets passed through a wheeled mechanism and falls into a bottom compartment of the box. White numbers on the manual counter tick up by one: The ballot is counted.
So the town’s part-time clerk, Grace Bannasch, was confused when she began getting pummeled with public records requests demanding voting machine tapes and serial numbers, copies of digital ballots, and file names, all related to the November 2020 presidential election.
This isn’t just a problem in one town, it’s a problem in dozens and dozens of small communities throughout Massachusetts:
She’s not the only one. Municipal elections officials across Massachusetts have been bombarded with these types of requests, which elections experts and political scientists say stem from supporters of Donald Trump who believe there are documents that will prove widespread election fraud in the 2020 election.
The problem has become so pervasive that it’s caught the attention of Secretary of State William F. Galvin, whose office has contacted Attorney General Maura Healey and is working on a coordinated response.
In Massachusetts, the Public Records law requires that the town officer respond “not later than 10 business days following the receipt of the request” by either delivering the document or by indicating what it will take to deliver the document of whether it is privileged or not.
In Shutesbury, the town clerk Bannusch has “spent hours looking up the definitions of what the requesters are asking her to produce”, and often not finding the requested item. Most items on their list simply don’t exist.
This is the kind of nonsense that election denial by today’s Republican party — a party most of whose office holders know full well that the election wasn’t stolen from Donald Trump — has brought us. These poor (mostly part-time) clerks now have to deal with this BS, instead of being able to prepare for the 2022 mid-terms.
Some of them will quit, and many of them will be replaced by election deniers who will then really screw over our system. Oh, what joy for us!