Reprinted with permission from American Independent
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump and her fellow Republican lawmakers who have lied about voter fraud in the 2020 election — so vocal, in fact, that she lost her position in House GOP leadership over it.
Yet in an interview with Axios that aired on Sunday, Cheney said she supports the voter suppression legislation Republicans have pushed across the country in 2021, even as the same lies of fraud are being used to justify those bills.
In the interview with Axios' Jonathan Swan, Cheney denied that the hundreds of voter suppression bills — some of which have already become law — were based on Trump's voter fraud lies.
"I will never understand the resistance, for example, to voter ID," Cheney told Axios' Jonathan Swan. "There's a big difference between that and a president of the United States who loses an election after he tried to steal the election and refuses to concede."
However, many of the more than 360 pieces of voter suppression legislation Republican state legislators have introduced this year attack the very same methods of voting Trump has falsely blamed for his loss.
For example, GOP-controlled state legislatures in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Iowa have all passed laws making it harder to vote by mail — a method of voting Trump falsely said is rife with fraud and demanded be scaled back in future elections.
Arizona's Republican governor recently signed into law a bill that purges the state's Permanent Early Voting List of voters who do not vote in two straight election cycles. The list allowed voters to opt to receive absentee ballots for every election, and the change could purge more than 125,000 voters from the list.
Voting rights advocates say the changes are directly aimed at making it harder for voters of color to cast ballots. It's led voting rights experts to describe the GOP voter suppression effort as Jim Crow 2.0.
What's more, states like Georgia took away power from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — who refused to follow Trump's demand to steal the 2020 — and instead gave it to GOP state lawmakers who could use it to overturn elections.
"Had their grand plan been law in 2020, the numerous attempts by state legislatures to overturn the will of the voters would have succeeded," Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia state representative who now runs a voting rights organization, told the New York Times in March.
Ultimately, Cheney's refusal to fight back against voter suppression efforts shows she is still a Republican, even though she's bucked her party on support for Trump.
For example in 2019, conservatives in Wisconsin sought to purge more than 230,000 people from the voter rolls ahead of the 2020 election. The effort failed; however, a report showed that the purge would have affected Black voters at higher rates — a group that backs Democrats by wide margins.
Meanwhile, in 2016, Republicans in North Carolina passed a voter ID law that was struck down by a federal court, which said the law targeted "African Americans with almost surgical precision," and that it would "impose cures for problems that did not exist."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.