This Week: Republicans Continue to Restrict Ballot Access for Political Gain

Welcome to the inaugural Defend Our States Roundup! This weekly newsletter will highlight the biggest elections and voting rights news in key states being targeted by MAGA Republicans this year as they try to take away our right to choose who leads us.

Over the past week, Republicans continued their fight against free and fair elections. On Friday, the conservative-majority Wisconsin Supreme Court sided against the unanimous advice of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission and ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes are illegal, in a case unsurprisingly aided by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI). The lawsuit is part of a deliberate plan by Wisconsin Republicans to reduce turnout among Democratic-leaning absentee voters, and it prompted Milwaukee elections officials to speak out against the Court for shuttering such a widely-used, accessible voting option.

During an Alaska rally on Saturday, Trump himself lauded the Wisconsin ruling, taking the opportunity to suggest that the Wisconsin Legislature should continue to overturn the will of voters by  “decertifying” the 2020 election results.

Speaking of the former President, Trump stopped in Las Vegas last weekend to stump support of two MAGA Republican challengers, Adam Laxalt for Senate and former sheriff Joe Lombardo for Governor. During his speech, Trump continued spreading misinformation and outright lies, calling Nevada a “cesspool of crime” and affirming that Joe Lombardo—who refused to say if the 2020 election was accurate—would be “very strong on election integrity.” Lombardo technically became the GOP nominee just hours earlier, as Nevada finished re-certifying its June primary results after completing a hand recount of the Governor race requested and paid for by far-right candidate (and January 6th attendee) Joey Gilbert.

Elsewhere, in Republican efforts to subvert the will of voters:

Across Arizona, elections officials are leaving office just weeks before the August primary after facing harassment over the 2020 election.

A federal judge upheld a Georgia voting law banning organizations from mailing absentee ballot applications to voters.

And finally, all four MAGA Michigan gubernatorial candidates claimed that fraud was a “significant feature” of the 2020 election during a recent debate, completely ignoring a GOP-led Michigan Senate committee report which found no evidence of fraud. It’s not the first time Ryan Kelley and Tudor Dixon have agreed on election conspiracy theories, and certainly is not the last.

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