Republican state legislatures have also passed or are considering laws aimed at stripping Democratic counties of the power to run fair elections. The new Georgia law gives the legislature the power to handpick an election official who could vote on the state election board for a temporary takeover of up to four county election boards during the crucial period of administering an election and counting votes. That provision appears to be aimed at Democratic counties like Fulton County that have increased voter access. A new Iowa law threatens criminal penalties against local election officials who enact emergency election rules and bars them from sending voters unsolicited absentee ballot applications.
A Texas bill would similarly stymie future efforts like the one in Harris County to expand access to the ballot and give challengers at the polls the ability not only to observe but to interfere with polling place procedures meant to ensure election integrity. According to a new report by Protect Democracy, Republican legislators have proposed at least 148 bills in 36 states that could increase the chances of cooking the electoral books.