Ms Bernier of Wisconsin, for example, said she saw no problem with a bill that would allocate one ballot box to voters in cities like New Berlin, with 40,000 residents, and one for voters in Milwaukee, with 590,000 inhabitants. There were no drop boxes at all, she noted, until state officials made an emergency exception during the pandemic.
“The Legislature could say that no drop box is needed at all,” she said.
Nathaniel Persily, political scientist and election specialist at Stanford University, said he disagreed. Presidential elections always attract more voters, he said, but the hard work of democracy often occurs during off-year votes for smaller offices where interest is lower. In these elections, “if there are barriers placed in the path of voters, they will not stand,” he said.
Mike Noble, a public opinion expert from Phoenix, wondered if Trumpian’s Arizona Legislature’s anti-fraud program has political legs, even though polls show a level of belief Republican in the stolen election myth of Mr. Trump which he calls “staggering.”
Republicans who consider themselves more moderate make up about a third of party support in Arizona, he said, and they are much less likely to believe the myth. And they can be turned off by a legislature that wants to reduce mailings of postal ballots in a state where voters – especially Republicans – have long voted overwhelmingly by mail.
“I don’t see how a rational person would see where the advantage is,” he said.
Some other Republicans apparently agree. In Kentucky, which has some of the toughest voting laws in the country, the staunchly Republican State House voted almost unanimously on Friday to allow early voting, albeit only three days, and online requests for postal votes. Both were first tried during the pandemic and, most importantly, were popular with voters and county election officials.
If that kind of recognition of November’s successes resonated in other Republican states, Mr. Persily and another electoral scholar, Charles Stewart III of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in a recent study, it could bode well for alleviating deep divisions over future elections. rules. If the stolen election myth continues to guide Republican politics, Mr Persily said, it could predict a future with two types of elections in which voting rights, turnout and confidence in the results would be significantly different, according to the Minister. party that wrote the rules. .
“These trajectories are on the horizon,” he said. “Some states take a deception approach to regulating voting that is only distantly linked to fraud issues. And that could lead to massive collateral damage for voting rights. “
Susan C. Beachy contributed to the research.