How to Fix our Remaining Election Vulnerabilities
Heading into the 2022 midterms, one of the biggest questions was to what degree the machinery of future elections would be controlled by politicians who campaigned on the premise that the 2020 Presidential vote was rigged. If enough Trumpian candidates won, the former President would have the chance in 2024 to do what he tried to do last time: steal the Presidency. And, indeed, the New York Times found that more than two hundred candidates who called the 2020 result into question were elected to various offices two weeks ago.
But, in the five crucial swing states that are almost sure to decide the next election, Republicans almost uniformly failed. In Arizona, Democrats won the races for governor and for secretary of state. They did the same in Michigan and Wisconsin, and also kept the governorship in Pennsylvania. In Georgia, Democrats came up short—the Republican governor, Brian Kemp, and the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, coasted to reëlection. But they did so, at least in part, after standing up to Donald Trump in 2020 and refusing to take action on his unfounded claims of fraud.
I recently spoke by phone with Richard L. Hasen, who is the director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project at U.C.L.A. and an expert in elections law, about what the 2022 results mean for 2024, and what longer-term threats to American democracy remain. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed potential weak spots in the next Presidential election, what a landmark case before the Supreme Court could mean for how the United States conducts future elections, and why laws trying to restrict voting access so often fail.