Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives thunderous takedown of GOP voter fraud claims

·3 min read
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) (L) listens to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) during a hearing.  (Getty Images)
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) (L) listens to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) during a hearing. (Getty Images)

Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez provided a forceful takedown of Republican claims of voter fraud pushed by former President Donald Trump and his many supporters.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez went after the GOP claims during a hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights discussing the voting bill in the Texas state legislature that prompted state Democrats to flee to Washington DC to prevent its passage.

They argue that Republicans are using false claims of voter fraud to make it harder to vote, especially for largely Democratic constituencies. The GOP on their end say that the new voting laws are meant to make it easier to vote, but harder to cheat.

“Let’s talk about... the myth of voter fraud. According to MIT election data and science lab – only about .00006% of total mail-in votes cast are results of voter fraud. That’s less likely than being [struck] by lightning,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said during the hearing.

Democrats have argued that the voting laws pushed by Republicans are a solution in search of a problem and that the real reasoning behind the laws is to make it harder for minorities to vote.

Democratic Rep Rashida Tlaib of Michigan told Republicans during the hearing “you all won your elections with that same system that you now are saying is fueled with fraud”.

Republicans on the subcommittee blasted the Texas state Democrats who fled the state capital of Austin for “cutting and running” from their responsibilities while Congressional Democrats defended their state party colleagues, arguing that they were trying to thwart “a blatant, disgusting attempt to return to Jim Crow”.

Dozens of Texas Democrats left the state for DC, where federal Democrats are trying to push through national election legislation aimed at making it easier to vote.

Three of the Texas representatives who left the state were questioned during the Thursday hearing – Reps Senfronia Thompson of Houston, Nicole Collier of Fort Worth, and Diego Bernal of San Antonio.

The top Republican on the subcommittee, Rep Pete Sessions of Texas, said: “Today, in essence, we’re... coddling people who should be at work in the state of Texas.”

“And yet we’re treating them as hometown heroes in Washington DC. I believe that they need to have their constitutional duties performed and be back home,” he added.

Testimony mostly focused on the Republican House Bill 3 in the Texas legislature that Democrats say would suppress the vote, mostly in minority areas.

“You heard about the Republican-appointed (Texas) Secretary of State who said that the 2020 elections were ‘smooth and secure,’ and yet we still found ourselves facing legislation to address the elections,” Ms Collier said during the hearing.

US Republican Rep Pat Fallon said Democrats were “more like carnival barkers than serious legislators” and called their grievances “hyperbolic in the extreme”.

“We don’t act like a bunch of spoiled cowards running away and refusing to vote when it’s clear we don’t have the numbers to get our way,” Florida Republican Rep Scott Franklin said.

Ms Thompson answered: “Even though Mr Franklin may call himself a coward, he doesn’t have a right to classify me as one.”

She said the Democrats were doing their jobs by leaving the state.

“Let’s be clear, these Republican voter suppression bills took pains to avoid mentioning race, but they are aimed directly at American voters of colour,” Ms Tlaib said. “This is a blatant, disgusting attempt to return to Jim Crow, disguised by expensive Washington consultants and lobbyists.”

“They’re covering it up, but we all know what this is about,” she added.

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