On Wednesday, writing for the Los Angeles Times, Doyle McManus warned that GOP allies of former President Donald Trump are doing their utmost to strip power from local election officials, in a bid to give the national party more power to challenge and review election results they don't like.
"Pro-Trump forces in dozens of states are now working to change election laws to make it harder for Democrats to win — and easier for Republicans to challenge the results if their candidate loses," wrote McManus. "If they're successful, the chaotic aftermath of the 2020 election may only have been a rehearsal for a second round in 2024."
"In at least 36 states, Republican legislators have proposed laws to weaken the autonomy of local election officials and put more power over vote-counting in the hands of legislators," wrote McManus. "In Georgia, for example, the same law that criminalized giving water to thirsty voters also gave the Legislature the right to appoint the chair of the state election board — and gave the board the right to take over a county's election management."
Trump has repeatedly claimed that the 2020 election was rigged or stolen, despite zero evidence of this. And Arizona Republicans are engaged in a controversial third "audit" of Maricopa County results using a private company and shady tactics.
"They are trying to lay the groundwork [for 2024] to make sure local officials will jump if Trump tells them to jump," Edward B. Foley, an election law expert at Ohio State University, explained to the Los Angeles Times. "They didn't jump last time, but they might the next time."