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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Teixeira: Why Voter Suppression Doesn’t Always Work

The following article by Ruy Teixeira, author of The Optimistic Leftist and other works of political analysis, is cross-posted from his blog:

It’s Hard to Make Making Voting Harder Have the Electoral Effects You Want

That’s Harry Enten’s message in his new CNN column and he is correct.

“Republicans’ response to losing control of the White House and Senate has been to try and make voting harder in a number of states. Most notably, perhaps, is Georgia, where they’re going after ways of voting that were popular for Black voters and Democrats in 2020 (e.g. mail voting).

Democrats and Black advocacy groups are, of course, up in arms and trying to stop the GOP.
We can’t know how these changes, if they come to pass, would affect future elections. But by looking at two of the most prominent moves Republicans are trying to make, we can see it’s not at all clear that Republicans will succeed in helping their electoral prospects….

This doesn’t mean that what Republicans are doing in Georgia is right, and it doesn’t mean that this time they won’t help their chances.

The bottom line is, though, that voters aren’t static. What’s often been found by political scientists is that moves that try to make voting more difficult don’t succeed in changing election outcomes. The reason is that voters and parties make moves to try and counteract what’s happening.”

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