A presidential election is an event when political forces mobilize all their resources to receive a victory, meaning that a defeat can have severe consequences. In 2020, Donald Trump lost the presidential race and claimed that the election was stolen through voter fraud. Trump called it “The Big Lie” and started punishing politicians for opposing viewpoints. It is worth admitting that Adolf Hitler created the given term in the 20th century to describe a propaganda technique. “The Big Lie” refers to the massive distortion of the truth so that people start believing false information because they cannot imagine that someone could intentionally misinterpret the truth in such an impossible manner. The article by Longwell demonstrates that Trump spread his “Big Lie” via social media, and it made people feel, not know, that the election was stolen because something was wrong with it (par. 4). Thus, the given phenomenon forces people to think in a particular manner without having evident arguments for that. However, a closer analysis of the 2020 election reveals that there was no voter fraud and stolen election, but various restricting bills were created.
The 2020 Elections in the United States
Trump started emphasizing the effect of voter fraud in 2016 when he lost the popular vote. He even established the Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to have it find proof of his claims. However, the body failed to locate any evidence, and it was dissolved (Taylor par. 1). This was the first sign to note that Trump’s announcements about the election issues could be exaggerated.
The failure of the Commission did not prevent Trump from blaming voter fraud after the 2020 election. Nevertheless, the available statistical data demonstrates that this misbehavior is not probable in the modern United States. On the one hand, the conservative Heritage Foundation attempted to assess the rates of mail voting fraud between 2000 and 2020 and only found 193 criminal convictions out of 250 million mail ballots (Panetta par. 10). This information denotes that mail voting fraud frequency is close to 0.0006% (Panetta par. 11). On the other hand, a Loyola University study found 31 confirmed cases of in-person voter fraud out of one billion votes, which is close to 0.000003% (Panetta par. 14). These findings reveal that the probability of voting fraud is extremely low in the US.
The statistical figures did not convince Trump and his allies, and they decided to file numerous lawsuits to overturn the election results. According to Cummings et al., Trump filed 62 lawsuits, and 61 of them failed (par. 7). Both Republican and Democratic judges dismissed these cases because some of them lacked standing, while others did not have voter fraud allegations (Cummings et al. par. 8). The election officials at different levels kept saying that the 2020 election results were valid. However, Trump initiated different recounts and audits, but they confirmed the previous results. In particular, two recounts in Georgia narrowed Biden’s lead, while the data from Wisconsin enlarged it (Cummings et al. par. 19-22). This information reveals that Trump did not manage to overturn the election outcomes.
That is why it is not surprising that Republican majority states decided to pass new restrictive voting laws. The rationale behind this action was the belief that new restrictions would minimize the chances of mail voting fraud. However, the laws resulted in significant barriers for African Americans and Latinos to participate in the next election (Berman par. 2). Consequently, these regulations are not necessary, and many experts deservedly consider them modern Jim Crow laws.
US House Resolution 1 and US Senate Resolution 1 represent the For the People Act of 2021. Democrats advocate for this bill because it aims to provide voters with better opportunities. In particular, the legislation piece established an automatic voter registration system and reduced the impact of big money on political campaigns (Nilsen par. 3). Under it, all voters are automatically included in the system and provided with early voting opportunities. However, Republicans believe that these new conditions will result in more opportunities for voter fraud, which makes the GOP oppose the For the People Act of 2021.
The 2020 election and following scandals gave rise to many legislation responses, and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 is among them. This bill defines conditions when states should be subject to preclearance before introducing changes to voting practices (John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021). This information demonstrates that the Department of Justice or US District Court should check the states with the history of voting violations to ensure that the new practices are free from any discrimination practices.
The new Texas Voting Bill is another legislation piece that was introduced by the Republican party. It was implemented to eliminate 24-hour voting, drive-thru voting, and introduce additional mail voting requirements, and empowers poll watchers (Brander par. 5, 7, 8). These actions were brought to minimize the chances of voting fraud. However, I believe that these new rules emerged to limit the abilities of various people to participate in the next election.
In conclusion, the paper has demonstrated that the 2020 presidential election resulted in significant consequences for the entire nation. The Republicans could not accept their defeat, initiated many lawsuits to overcome the results, and invested in creating restricting laws to get prepared for the coming election. However, it seems that they go over the top because some of their new voting requirements resemble discriminatory laws.
Berman, Russell. “The Blue States That Make It Hardest to Vote.” The Atlantic, 2021, Web.
Bradner, Eric. “The New Texas Voting Law Includes These 7 Major Changes.” CNN, 2021, Web.
Cummings, William, et al. “By the Numbers: President Donald Trump’s Failed Efforts to Overturn the Election.” USA Today, 2022, Web.
Longwell, Sarah. “Trump Supporters Explain Why They Believe the Big Lie.” The Atlantic, 2022, Web.
Nilsen, Ella. “House Democrats’ Massive Voting Rights Bill, Explained.” Vox, 2021, Web.
Taylor, Jessica. “Trump Dissolves Controversial Election Commission.” NPR, 2018, Web.
Panetta, Grace. “Americans Are More Likely to Be Struck by Lightning than Commit Election Fraud.” Insider, 2020, Web.
US Congress. John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021. Web.