In the wake of Tennessee’s first competitive Senate race in years, the Republican-controlled state legislature is forcing through a new voter suppression bill that would attach harsh criminal penalties to some voter registration drives, sparking outcry.
On Tuesday, GOP state House Speaker Glen Casada responded to the opposition by claiming, out of the blue and with no evidence, that “outside groups” executed a ballot-stuffing scheme in Tennessee to try to stop Marsha Blackburn from being elected to the Senate:
Last election cycle there was an attempt from outside groups to flood the ballot box with fraudulent votes to try & prevent @VoteMarsha from becoming our next U.S. Senator. Proud of the House for passing a new bill to prevent this. Thanks to Rep. @TimRudd34 for running it! #TNleg pic.twitter.com/n7NXIxf0u5
— Speaker Glen Casada (@GlenCasada) April 16, 2019
Casada’s remark instantly drew fresh anger from people, some of whom noted that no one had ever made this claim before:
What on earth! You can’t just concoct fantastical lies about nonexistent plots to ingratiate yourself with Blackburn. Show at least a shred of integrity from the Speaker’s podium, please.
— Really Mom (@Resist_Agitate) April 16, 2019
This is just a lie. Straight up. This has never even been a story before today. Doing that would already be a crime. If there was an attempt, that means someone was caught. Why hasn’t anyone been prosecuted? Oh yeah, because it’s a lie. @staceyabrams @PeteButtigieg
— Dance like the GOP is watching 🌹 (@artisticalamari) April 16, 2019
Care to cite any evidence whatsoever, speaker?
All part of the GOP’s anti-democratic voter suppression efforts justified by outright falsehoods pushed by ineffectual, cowardly nit-wits like @GlenCasada
— classical Chazzwazzle (@chazzwazzle1) April 16, 2019
I have not seen or heard of any hearings, court filings, arrests or newspaper account detailing what you have claimed. You should withhold the vote and bring forth such facts. #FactsMatter
— JonesonSims (@jaspercjones) April 16, 2019
That’s ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/D7KwICEtkJ
— Holly McCall (@jhollymc) April 16, 2019
There is fraud in our elections but it doesn’t come from community groups trying to do their civic duty and register voters – it’s coming from you pretending to protect our democracy while weakening it
— Justin Wilkins (@jrwilkins) April 16, 2019