NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021

Tim Eyman says he’s joining a group pushing voter suppression schemes in swing states

Hav­ing flamed out in his cam­paign for gov­er­nor last year, and hav­ing failed to qual­i­fy a decep­tive ini­tia­tive to sell to vot­ers this year, an increas­ing­ly des­ti­tute Tim Eyman declared Sun­day at a King Coun­ty Repub­li­can func­tion in Red­mond that his next project will be at the nation­al lev­el, as part of a right wing group hop­ing to adopt vot­er sup­pres­sion schemes in “sev­en key swing states”.

“There is very lit­tle faith in our elec­tion sys­tem right now and we must restore that,” Eyman said in an August 9th mes­sage to his fan club.

“We want to make sure that in future elec­tions in the Unit­ed States, espe­cial­ly in key swing states, that valid votes are count­ed and invalid votes are not. There are many com­mon sense reforms that vot­ers will enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly sup­port and I’m going to work real­ly hard with a lot of great peo­ple to make sure vot­ers get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pass those reforms into law by initiative.”

“I’ll have more to say on this over the next few months but rest assured, I am work­ing each and every day as an ini­tia­tive activist to make things bet­ter for our state and our nation,” Eyman said, tran­si­tion­ing from there into his usu­al appeal for mon­ey (“please donate today, mail your check here,” etc.)

Empha­sis in the quotes above is Eyman’s.

The 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion was an extreme­ly secure and very suc­cess­ful elec­tion by every cred­i­ble stan­dard of mea­sure­ment, but since it did not pro­duce the results Trump and his cult want­ed, they are now obsessed with stop­ping Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers from vot­ing in future elec­tions. “Vot­er integri­ty” and “elec­tion integri­ty” are code words for erect­ing bar­ri­ers to vot­ing and rig­ging the vote.

While try­ing to sab­o­tage Wash­ing­ton State’s col­lec­tive invest­ments in its peo­ple and future has been Eyman’s prin­ci­pal focus for near­ly two decades, this is not the first time he has tried doing some­thing different.

As men­tioned, Eyman ran unsuc­cess­ful­ly for office last year. He has also dab­bled in oth­er right wing caus­es. On sev­er­al occa­sions, Eyman has pitched his “ser­vices” to oth­er peo­ple in right wing pol­i­tics, hop­ing to get them to agree to give him mon­ey to qual­i­fy schemes to the bal­lot to pre­empt or over­turn pro­gres­sive laws.

But his his­to­ry of dou­ble-cross­ing his donors and poor track record of pitch­ing oth­ers’ ideas have result­ed in him get­ting turned down, repeatedly.

After over twen­ty years as a ser­i­al pub­lic dis­clo­sure law offend­er in Wash­ing­ton pol­i­tics, Eyman’s bridges are burnt. It there­fore makes sense that he is look­ing out­side of Wash­ing­ton State for a fresh shot at mon­ey and glory.

While Eyman’s mes­sage does­n’t say if this is a pay­ing gig, I pre­sume it is.

He also does­n’t say what states this group is hop­ing to qual­i­fy bal­lot mea­sures in, but like­ly can­di­dates would seem to be states such as Ari­zona, Col­orado, or Neva­da. Oth­er swing states, like Penn­syl­va­nia, do not allow cit­i­zen-ini­ti­at­ed bal­lot mea­sures, but do have Repub­li­can-con­trolled leg­isla­tive cham­bers that have con­coct­ed vot­er sup­pres­sion schemes for next year’s ballot.

Geor­gia has a Repub­li­can tri­fec­ta and has already passed a new vot­er sup­pres­sion scheme which is being chal­lenged in court in mul­ti­ple lawsuits.

Repub­li­cans are hop­ing that a com­bi­na­tion of ger­ry­man­der­ing, vot­er sup­pres­sion, favor­able turnout, and his­tor­i­cal trends will bol­ster them in 2022 and allow them to at least recap­ture the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which they lost in 2018.

Democ­rats, mean­while, are work­ing hard to com­bat Repub­li­can schemes to rig the 2022 elec­tions. The par­ty announced today it is set­ting the stage for a fed­er­al law­suit in Ari­zona to chal­lenge S.B. 1819, a scheme that Ari­zona Repub­li­cans cre­at­ed to allow them to put pri­vate, unac­count­able enti­ties like “Cyber Nin­jas” in a posi­tion to decide who can remain on the Grand Canyon State’s vot­er rolls.

“S.B. 1819 was enact­ed as part of the Ari­zona state bud­get process in June 2021,” a state­ment from the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee and Ari­zona Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty sent to NPI this after­noon explains.

“It gives the state leg­is­la­ture pow­er to des­ig­nate a pri­vate par­ty to review the rolls of Ari­zo­nans per­mit­ted to vote in fed­er­al elec­tions — and to deter­mine the eli­gi­bil­i­ty of those reg­is­tered accord­ing to what­ev­er process it desires.”

“The pri­vate par­ty then may direct the sec­re­tary of state and coun­ty elec­tion offi­cials to strike the reg­is­tra­tion of vot­ers who have already been deemed eli­gi­ble with­out prop­er notice. No role is per­mit­ted for local elec­tion offi­cials who have already ver­i­fied that voter’s eli­gi­bil­i­ty. In sum, the law grants to a pri­vate par­ty select­ed by the major­i­ty in the leg­is­la­ture the expan­sive pow­er to deter­mine who may vote and who may not; it impos­es no stan­dards or lim­its on that power.”

“S.B. 1819 vio­lates the Nation­al Vot­er Reg­is­tra­tion Act because it does not have a stan­dard by which eli­gi­bil­i­ty is deter­mined nor does it pro­vide noti­fi­ca­tion to vot­ers that their reg­is­tra­tion is in jeop­ardy,” the par­ty asserts.

“It also vio­lates the First and Four­teenth Amend­ments to the Unit­ed States Con­sti­tu­tion, both because it deprives vot­ers of the right to vote with­out notice and an oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­test the basis of their removal from the rolls, and because it imper­mis­si­bly allows Ari­zo­nans’ fun­da­men­tal right to vote to be com­pro­mised by an unac­count­able pri­vate par­ty select­ed by the legislature.”

What hap­pens next in states like Ari­zona, Wis­con­sin, and Penn­syl­va­nia will deter­mine the nation’s tra­jec­to­ry. If we are to remain a demo­c­ra­t­ic repub­lic, vot­er sup­pres­sion schemes like the kind Eyman plans to work on must be defeated.

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