Last week, a Texas woman was arrested and charged with multiple counts of voter fraud dating back to a local 2018 election.
According to the official website of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Monica Mendez was arrested and booked into the Victoria County Jail after a grand jury returned an indictment against her on seven counts of illegal voting, eight counts of unlawfully assisting voter voting ballot by mail, eight counts of unlawful possession of a ballot, and another eight counts of election fraud.
Naturally, Texas Republicans were all over that.
“Voter fraud is real and Texas will prosecute it whenever and wherever it happens,” Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Saturday. “We will continue to make it easy to vote but hard to cheat. Thanks to the Texas Attorney General and all law-enforcement involved in this voter fraud case to ensure integrity in elections.”
Voter fraud is real and Texas will prosecute it whenever and wherever it happens.
We will continue to make it easy to vote but hard to cheat.
Thanks to the Texas Attorney General and all law-enforcement involved in this voter fraud case to ensure integrity in elections. https://t.co/RXCL3l3j0Q
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 26, 2021
Paxton responded with a bombshell for those still trying to prove widespread voter fraud decided the 2020 presidential election.
“We will prosecute voter fraud every time we find it,” he said. “Currently our office has over 500 cases waiting to be heard in court. Voter fraud is real. Texans deserve to know their vote is legally and securely counted.”
Thanks, @GregAbbott_TX! We will prosecute voter fraud every time we find it. Currently our office has over 500 cases waiting to be heard in court. Voter fraud is real. Texans deserve to know their vote is legally and securely counted. #ElectionIntegrity #Fraud https://t.co/ZhUh8lpHri
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) June 26, 2021
Now, fundamentally, the prosecution of illegal activity in a red-state election is proof that voter fraud occurs in the Republican-run states rightfully passing voter ID and other election integrity bills.
And it should go without saying that allegations of voter fraud must be thoroughly investigated and criminal activity prosecuted, especially when confidence in our elections is at stake.
But the fact is Democrats are desperate because their overblown spending and critical race theory-laden agenda is bombing with the American public — and President Joe Biden’s platform is receiving pushback not only in the political arena but also in the cultural sphere.
That means they will probably try to bait Republicans into doing something foolish.
And that potential mistake by Republicans would be to center their midterm elections push on continued claims of yet-unproven widespread voter fraud in 2020 that allegedly cost President Donald Trump the race.
Regardless of whether that was the case, it has proved to be a losing message for Republicans — and Democrats clearly would prefer middle-of-the-aisle voters be presented with these allegations than with criticisms of their own incompetent leadership.
A major problem during the Georgia Senate runoffs, as argued by outlets like The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was that Republican voters were told the race had been stolen from President Trump in Georgia but, at the same time, voters still needed to turn out in the runoffs for Republicans to hold the Senate.
This conflicting messaging — and self-destructive undermining of confidence in the election — depressed the vote.
Republican turnout was down in January from November while Democratic turnout remained roughly constant, gifting Democrats the control they have now in the upper chamber.
Republicans are primed to retake Congress in the midterms and be competitive in the 2024 presidential race. But what potentially obstructs their ascent is their own messaging choices, especially when considering the establishment media scrutinizes Republican messaging in ways Democrats never have to worry about when it comes to their own.
Voter fraud does occur. There is far more evidence of it than there has been of voter suppression. And Republican leadership in Texas has quite a bit of work ahead of it in investigating these hundreds of voter fraud allegations and prosecuting all criminal activity related to election fraud.
But as we draw nearer to the midterms, and Democrats increasingly force the issue on this, Republicans must ensure their messaging is focused on the catastrophe of national Democratic governance rather than points that don’t motivate centrist voters and actually depress Republican turnout.
If they cannot exercise discipline in this regard, the catastrophe may continue, even as Republicans persist in trying to figure out a suitable explanation for how it came about to begin with.
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