Location, location, location yields to Timing, timing, timing.

The new Georgia voter law and the ones other states are developing would seem like a knee jerk reaction to Trump’s non-stop claim that the 2020 election was rigged but their roots go back to ten plus year of election laws related to Barack Obama’s presidential victories. The premise being that Democrats benefited from high turnout which may not be true.

The knee jerk part of the law maybe attempts to appease Trump’s followers and supporters who believed him. Republican politicians are caught between Trump’s constituents and knowing whether they admit it or not, that voter fraud is extremely rare. There is no reason to believe voter fraud has determined the outcome of a single U.S. election in decades including the 2020 election. That doesn’t say there was no voter fraud, just that whatever side was guilty, it would have been inconsequential to the results.  The Trump campaign has publicly alleged voter fraud but has shied away from actually making those claims in court.

Intent versus truth

The impact of the Georgia law is most likely modest.  If the Georgia voter law was intended to be a partisan power grab by attempting to win elections by changing the rules rather than persuading more voters, it may have failed its intent.  That’s a good thing because such intent would be inconsistent with the basic ideals of democracy.

The New Georgia Voter Law is a distraction.  The biggest problems are the Electoral College, the structure of the Senate and the gerrymandering of House districts.  Those three problems forces majority public opinion to take a back seat and just go along for the ride.

Biden and many other Democrats are exaggerating the specifics of what the Georgia law  actually does.  In some cases, Democrats appear to be talking about provisions that the Georgia legislature considered but did not include.  In reality, effects will be smaller than many critics suggest and will probably have little effect on overall turnout or on election outcomes.

The law mostly restricts early voting, not Election Day voting and early voters tend to be more highly educated and more engaged with politics. They often vote no matter what, be it early or on Election Day. More broadly, modest changes to voting convenience — like those in the Georgia law — have had little to no effect when other states have adopted them.  That said, Georgia is so closely divided and even a small effect — on, say, turnout in Atlanta — could decide an election.

Final Thoughts

Nothing that I have said here should be interpreted that I like the law.  For one thing it leaves out what I consider a mandatory clause requiring equal access to ballot boxes and limits on how long anybody would have to stand in line to vote.  It perpetuates the concept that Republicans in many states are trying to make voting harder, especially in cities and heavily Black areas through onerous identification requirements, reduced voting hours, and reduced access to early voting.  I mean, come on, one provision seems obviously targeted at the City of Atlanta, the Democrats’ most important source of votes where the new Georgia voter law put a new limit on absentee-ballot drop boxes. It is likely to reduce the number of drop boxes in metropolitan Atlanta to fewer than 25, from 94 last year.

The one part of the new law that could create chaos in their elections is that it could make it easier for state legislators to overturn a future election result after votes have been counted.

Why should the less privileged be encouraged to vote?

The No. 1 reason taxes on the very wealthy have declined is due to the fall in corporate taxes.In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, back when America was great, many corporations paid about half of their profits to the federal government. The money helped pay for the U.S. military and for investments in roads, bridges, schools, scientific research and more. 

Tax structures have changed and 55 big companies paid zero federal income taxes last year according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the U.S. raises less corporate tax revenue as a share of economic output than almost all other advanced economies.

The justification for the tax cuts has often been that the economy as a whole  will benefit and that lower corporate taxes would lead to expansion, jobs, and higher incomes. Instead, economic growth has been mediocre since the 1970s. And incomes have grown more slowly than the economy for every group except the wealthy.

The long-term decline in corporate taxes doesn’t seem to have provided much of a benefit for most American families. The economy is more global now compared to the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. A global solution is needed more today.