I wrote about how the people who encouraged the Jan 6th insurrection are succeeding with a different strategy a year on: taking control of the machinery of elections. 🧵
I've been studying election administration on and off for almost two decades. The concerted attack we are seeing now on local election officials is new. 2/
Steve Bannon has pushed a "precinct strategy"--where Trumpists dedicated to the Big Lie capture the local GOP apparatus--as a means of "taking over all the elections.” (Local party officials appoint key election roles in many states). It's working. 3/ propublica.org/article/heedin…
In addition to the bottom-up "precinct strategy" state laws that give legislatures more control over election positions allows a top-down approach. Here is how it's been used in Georgia. 4/ donmoynihan.substack.com/p/a-year-on-th…
The formal efforts to take control of key election positions is being complemented by an informal but widespread strategy of intimidation of election officials who refused to conform to the Big Lie narrative. This should be a much bigger story. 5/ graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/T…
If you are a local election official who did a good job in 2020, there is a good chance you have faced accusations of engaging in fraud, or threats to your life. Not surprisingly, many of these officials are quitting. 6/
Again, it's key to understand that formal instruments of power are used to the same end as informal intimidation. Bogus "election audits" are used to threaten election officials. In WI, a former Judge who declared the election was stolen is threatening to jail election officials.
Here is why attacks on election officials matter: a wrench in Trump's 2020 plan to get legislatures to overturn their results was that election officials refused to give them the ammunition to do so. Replace them w Trump loyalists, and the outcome looks very different in 2024. 8/
People are most worried about another attempt to overturn a presidential election. But even if Trumpist targeting of election officials does not determine the 2024 results, it is still doing real damage to our democracy in two ways: undermining competence and legitimacy. 9/
Running election is a complex task, w high stakes and no do-overs, and which we delegate mostly to local government. As we replace experienced and competent professionals with people largely motivated by conspiracy theories, the quality of election administration will fall. 10/
Most Republicans share the false belief of the Jan 6th insurrectionists: that US elections are illegitimate. Their actions show why such beliefs are dangerous for democracy. The current attack on election officials increases the chance Dems will come to share those views. 11/
What to do? The DOJ and local police should be prosecuting death threats to election officials that do not qualify as protected speech. Historically, it's not been a good thing when law enforcement ignored intimidation in American elections. 12/ graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/T…
Because of the nature of the US system, and the balance of power right now, most solutions depend on both parties at the national level co-operating to protect elections. And that's just not happening b/c one party believes that undermining democracy benefits them. 13/
Whew! Sorry for the long thread. Thanks for reading and sharing. There will be a lot of Jan 6th takes out there today, so I wanted to contribute by providing fact-based insights about election administration, and why it should have us worried for the future. Fin/

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More from @donmoyn

5 Jan
Interesting piece: I think the most obvious answer is that the expanded CTC is relatively new, most people have not benefited from it, and people don't really see it as a distinct post-pandemic program. Those things will change if the becomes permanent.
There is a risk among the policy wonk community that we overestimate people's knowledge of the ins-and-outs of unfamiliar programs. As a result, the way questions are framed and demand effects (where subjects are providing an answer they think the poller is seeking) matter a lot
For example, people's support for work requirements weaken if you tell them about the effects, or if you spell out the consequences. Framing matters.
Read 7 tweets
4 Jan
New open-access from @pamela_herd, Julie Gerinza and I: we track the use of administrative burdens in the Trump era to make legal processes of immigration more onerous. 🧵@pmmg2018 @PMRA1991
academic.oup.com/ppmg/advance-a… Image
We use the metaphor of Kafka's bureaucracy to reflect what immigration processes morphed into under Trump: confusing, arbitrary, and illogical. This anecdote we culled from @crampell's reporting demonstrates the impossible situations immigrants found themselves in. 2/ Image
The Trump administration adopted more than 450 executive actions. We sorted through these to focus on 78 that explicitly increased administrative burdens. After a while it becomes almost overwhelming to see the sheer scale and relentless of the changes. 3/ academic.oup.com/ppmg/advance-a… ImageImage
Read 9 tweets
4 Jan
This is an example of what @victorerikray @pamela_herd & I describe as radicalized burdens.
When you understand that Wisconsin has the highest racial prison disparities in the country the effect of imposing financial barriers for former felons to vote becomes clear.
In Wisconsin
*Black people constitute 6% of the population and 42% of the prison population
*Blacks are incarcerated 12 times the rate of whites, compared to a ratio of 5:1 for the rest of the US
*1 in 36 Black adults are in prison, highest rate in the US wpr.org/wisconsin-impr… Image
Gah - meant *racialized burdens* not radicalized burdens.

When you incorporate POC disproportionately (see below for WI), other barriers you impose on the status of incarceration necessarily have a racialized effect.

documentcloud.org/documents/2047… Image
Read 6 tweets
3 Jan
The new smart contrarian take is telling people to shut up about the decline of US democracy, no-one cares bro.
FWIW the US gets uniquely generous treatment from the rest of the world not just because it's powerful, but also because it's seen as a stable democracy. As that perception declines, so will a lot of other material benefits in the US.
When you want to say "make the trains run on time" but also, you hate trains
Read 6 tweets
28 Dec 21
This is an incredible story of how a tax break aimed at small businesses is converted into a tax-free intergenerational wealth accumulation machine for Silicon Valley investors. Via @JesseDrucker @maureenmfarrell
One takeaway here is that Congress passes tax laws without really understanding the long term costs b/c they do not anticipate how the tax avoidance industry will weaponize it Image
The cost of this tax loophole is at least $60 billion but probably multiples of that because of the creative ways it is being exploited. It’s so bad the Trump admin tried to corral it, but faced pushback from tax lawyers. Image
Read 5 tweets
26 Dec 21
Respectfully, I don't think liberals were the ones who made this choice.
The idea that something is a "cultural identity marker" means that people attribute some non-instrumental symbolic value to it. Seems like the people who are willing to risk illness, death and the infection of others to do something are the ones more driven by cultural values.
If the media you consume, or your political identity is causing you to hurt yourself and others, that seems like a cultural problem. I'm sure liberal finger-wagging is irritating, but hard to see how that's the bigger problem here. donmoynihan.substack.com/p/fox-news-is-…
Read 4 tweets

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