The new Georgia law increases the risk of partisan interference in election administration, even if it doesn't make it easy.
Election subversion is a risk outside of Georgia, too, and it's a risk that's being overshadowed by focus on mail voting…
As an aside, the response here to the my piece on the voting half of this law was series of absolutely unhinged--which is not to say there weren't several valid critiques, some of which I'm sympathetic to.
One of the most wrong headed critiques was the notion, often implicit, that there's something problematic about examining individual aspects of a law at a time (especially when there's more coming later on those very aspects)
It can be important to distinguish between aspects of a law for many self-evident reasons that I won't elaborate on.
For the progressives, I'd note HR1 is a clear illustration of the stakes of failing to think about different kinds of risks and different solutions
No. Election subversion is a different *kind* of risk than voter suppression, requiring different analysis and different legal remedies.
(and it's *published* today... written last week...)
Voter suppression affects whether or how people cast ballots. You address it with laws ensuring access to the ballot.
Election subversion might entail attempting to manipulate or overturn results. You can't address it by ensuring access to voting.
There are things that blur the line, where ensuring access can mitigate the risk of subversion.
If I want to overturn the election by throwing out ballots purportedly cast by dead people, it would help if there's a law saying you can't disenfranchise people on such a list
Other aspects of voting rights law offers some possible directions
HR1 requires nonpartisan commissions for gerryrmandering;
It could require nonpartisan election administration or certification.
VRA section 5 requires preclearance for certain states;
HR1 could add a layer of federal authorization/pre-clearance for invalidating ballots or decertifying results in federal elections
But tbh I don't see much evidence that folks are even thinking about this issue. HR1 was written pre-2020, and the post-2020 fight over voter access has received 99% of activist attention
As a result, the proposals for a slimmed down HR1 don't usually even include the provisions in HR1 that are relevant for protecting against election subversion
Yes, but not for reasons that are relevant here. Congress could pass a law adding a layer of federal preclearance for decertification
It is reasonable to whether a bill oriented at protecting democracy might have a better chance of passage than one trying to reform it

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More from @Nate_Cohn

6 Apr
What I implied is that new the law probably doesn't increase the length of lines, and could just as easily shorten lines.
I am not implying that lines don't matter to turnout (the article, in fact, says long lines affect turnout), or to human beings
When it comes to the effect on in-person voting, there are provisions cutting in both directions.
An example in the negative direction: ending the Fulton County bus voting stations, which could directly alleviate a problem
An example in the positive direction: expanding early voting days and the provision requiring that large precincts with long lines (over an hour) either add staff, add machines or split apart.
Read 11 tweets
3 Apr
The Georgia election law's restrictions on voting are unlikely to discernibly affect turnout or the result…
I've limited my analysis to the provisions affecting whether and how people can vote, not those that empower the state legislature to play a larger role in election administration. More on those later, but those provisions don't inherently affect voting access in a particular way
I also like to say that I do think it's important for journalists to report about the consequences of these laws, not just their intent or morality, for a few reasons.
Read 13 tweets
2 Apr
I do think there’s a credible, somewhat counterintuitive case that Democrats would have been better off if the GA GOP got rid of no excuse absentee voting altogether, v make it more difficult and risk higher rejections
This supposes that no excuse absentee voting does little to nothing to increase turnout, which I think is probably right. It’s less clear whether the GA law would increase rejections by more, but it’s uncertain enough to be imaginable
And the GA law does quite a bit to make it harder, between ID requirements and the huge dropbox restrictions. Not hard to imagine the law trapping Dem voters in a more difficult voting method
Read 8 tweets
31 Mar
One thing I've been thinking about lately: how different is the optimal voting system in a low-trust and high-trust society? What about in a society where partisans will play no-holds barred to win, versus one where democratic norms are strong?
To take an easy example from 2020: maybe it's not optimal for the vote count to last three weeks in a low trust society. There's nothing wrong with it, strictly speaking. It could have advantages. But maybe it's not worth the risk if there are bad actors and low trust
I can imagine taking this to more extreme places where there would probably way more debate: say, arguing against multiple forms of voting with varying eligibility, as it creates distinct categories of voters/ballots that can be targeted by law, election admin, courts, etc
Read 4 tweets
25 Mar
It's an open question whether polling is 'dead.' Maybe it was simply hospitalized in critical condition and no one can be sure whether it will get out
One of the best hope for polling is the theory that the error/bias was mainly just about the coronavirus, for instance. Our Oct. 2019 polls were way better than Oct. 2020! The poll averages in Feb/Mar 2020 were way better too. But I think the evidence is pretty inconclusive
That said, history offers plenty of reason to hope that polling could leave the hospital. So if that's the main @NateSilver538 position here, then he's right that we may not disagree as deeply as I think
Read 4 tweets
25 Mar
I don't really agree with @NateSilver538's glass-half full perspective on the 2020 polling miss…
I'd boil down the disagreement to one fundamental thing: I think low systemic bias is far, far more important than important for thinking about the polls than average error, while I think @NateSilver538 looks a lot more at average error
You can see both the magnitude of systemic bias in this chart, along with the case that there's a trend toward greater systemic bias. And fwiw, I think the D+5 bias is probably mitigated by some 'nonpartisan' firms that, tbh, aren't so nonpartisan or above the board
Read 17 tweets

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