The One Tweet that Shows the Maryland Democrats Hypocrisy on Early Voting
The Republican majority on the Montgomery County Board of Elections, led by an appointee of Gov. Larry Hogan (R), voted Monday to shift two early voting sites — one in low-income East County and the other in densely populated Chevy Chase — to less populous locations, prompting Democratic charges of voter suppression.
It isn’t surprising that these discussions have led to trumped-up charges by the Democrats about “voter suppression.” Never mind the fact that not a single vote is harmed by closing a single early voting center. But this tweet from Maryland Democratic Party Executive Director Patrick Murray shows what the anger is really about:
— Pat Murray (@patmurrayesq) September 22, 2015
Anger by Murray and the Democrats has nothing to do with voting rights, and it has everything to do with voting results. The Maryland Democrats have always been convinced that the way to win in Maryland is not to articulate a good case, or to have a good turnout operation across the state. No, their focus has been on making it easier for “their base” to vote and make it harder for “the Republican base” to vote. Democrats have done this through establishing early voting centers across the state. Of course, there are more early voting centers in counties with larger Democratic populations than Republican populations. And as we have said time and time again, early voting has no real purpose other than to be an anti-conservative gambit that creates potential problems with election results.
But the biggest hypocrisy from Democrats on this switch of early voting centers is how little it’s needed at all. As we saw in 2014, early voting and early voting sites don’t increase turnout, and may actually lead to diminished turnout. It isn’t like people were waiting desperately for early voting centers to be created in order to vote; it just spread out voting over a longer period of time and at higher costs to the taxpayer. Add on top of that the fact that Maryland allows all voters to vote by absentee ballot for any reason at all and the early voting centers don’t have any reason to exist. Period.
The Democrats aren’t mad that early voting centers have moved. They aren’t mad that people are going to be “disenfranchised” by this because it simply isn’t going to happen. They’re just mad that they’ll have to work just a little harder to try to win in 2018. Patrick Murray is right about one thing: this certainly is about politics as usual; it’s the Maryland Democrats politics as usual for trying to rig the rules in their favor, and being angry that the Republicans are trying to run government operations in a more equitable manner.