Abbreviated pundit roundup: Election Day Edition

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 06: Voters arrive to cast their absentee ballots at the Madison Central Public Library on the last day of early voting on November 06, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A record number of votes for a midterm election are expected to be cast across the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

More from The New York Times editorial board:

Eight Republican senators and 139 Republican representatives sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election on the basis of spurious allegations of voter fraud and other irregularities. Many of them are likely to win re-election, and they may be joined by new members who also have expressed baseless doubts about the integrity of the 2020 election. Their presence in Congress poses a danger to democracy, one that should be on the mind of every voter casting a ballot this Election Day.

Cat Zakrzewski on the threats to election workers:

Election officials who’ve been targeted online and law enforcement officials are bracing for another wave of threats on Election Day and its aftermath, when new claims of election fraud are expected to lead to more violent rhetoric online. 

The FBI declined to comment for this story. Last month, the agency issued a warning about the threats to election workers, and said it continues to “prioritize identifying, mitigating and investigating threats targeting election workers.” It has asked the public to submit tips related to election crimes via local field offices or its website.

All eyes will be on Pennsylvania today, and over at The Washington Post, Emma Brown and Amy Gardner detail how a GOP lawsuit has made it more difficult for voters to exercise their right to vote:

Six days after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated thousands of mail-in ballots in response to a Republican lawsuit, citizens in Philadelphia and other parts of this battleground state scrambled to cast replacements so their votes will be counted on Election Day.

Kirby Smith said after he and his wife were told that their ballots would not count, because they were missing dates, they stood in line for two hours at Philadelphia City Hall on Monday to cast new ones, missing much of the workday.

Neelam Bohra at The New York Times highlights how voting restrictions have made exercising a fundamental right more difficult for the disabled:

Laura Halvorson was ready to vote. On Thursday afternoon, she sat in front of a ballot screen at the Igo Library in San Antonio, after spending a month preparing for this moment. It was the first time in years that she had been in a public place, other than a doctor’s office.

Sitting in her wheelchair, she wore two masks — one a KN95, the other a part of her breathing machine. Because Ms. Halvorson, 38, has muscular dystrophy, a condition that progressively decreases muscle mass, and makes her more vulnerable to Covid-19, she needed to use a remote-control device supplied by poll workers to make her ballot selections.

No one knew how it worked.

The glitch was one of many obstacles she had to navigate, both on that day and over the previous weeks, to fulfill what she saw as her civic duty. 

Ronald Brownstein at The Atlantic previews the consequences of a Republican win:

If republicans win control of one or both congressional chambers this week, they will likely begin a project that could reshape the nation’s political and legal landscape: imposing on blue states the rollback of civil rights and liberties that has rapidly advanced through red states since 2021.

Over the past two years, the 23 states where Republicans hold unified control of the governorship and state legislature have approved the most aggressive wave of socially conservative legislation in modern times. In highly polarizing battles across the country, GOP-controlled states have passed laws imposing new restrictions on voting, banning or limiting access to abortion, retrenching LGBTQ rights, removing licensing and training requirements for concealed carry of firearms, and censoring how public-school teachers (and in some cases university professors and even private employers) can talk about race, gender, and sexual orientation.

On a final note, here is Susan Glasser’s analysis on The New Yorker taking the bird’s eye view of this American moment:

Math is math. The vast weight of both past history and present evidence suggests that, even with an array of too-close-to-call races in key states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania, control of one or both chambers is well within the G.O.P.’s reach. […] There is no non-Trump faction of any significance in today’s G.O.P. In that sense, the most important aspect of the midterm elections of 2022 was established by the early morning of January 7, 2021, when more than a hundred and thirty Republican representatives and eight Republican senators voted against certifying Biden’s election and went along with Trump’s election lie. Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader and aspiring Speaker if Republicans win next week, was among them. If they refused to disavow Trump then, with their own Capitol looted and despoiled hours earlier by his insurrectionists, then why would they disavow him two years later, on the brink of victory? Trump and his me-me-me ideology is all theirs now, whether they talk about it or not.

Haven’t voted yet? Look up your polling place here. 

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