You know who’s the real victim of voter suppression? Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Not because she’s a Georgia resident whose state GOP is actively dismantling the tools that increased access to voting and resulted in last year’s record election turnout. But because she has to go through a metal detector to get into the House chamber.
“There's real voter suppression that happens right here in Congress,” Greene said. “Many members of Congress have to stand in long lines to enter the chamber, going through metal detectors, emptying our pockets, and being treated very disrespectfully. So that is real voter suppression, and it’s a shame it happens right here on the House floor.”
Greene was referring to the metal detectors installed following the Capitol riots, purportedly to prevent guns from coming onto the House floor. The congresswoman was stripped of her committee roles last month because of past social media posts and liking posts that advocated for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
After the metal detectors were installed in January, conservative lawmakers at first tried to ignore them, but the Democratic-controlled House implemented a rule fining members directly out of their congressional pay if they violated the policy. Capitol Police have already investigated two Republican congressmen, Andy Harris of Maryland and Russ Fulcher of Idaho, for alleged offenses related to the detectors, HuffPost reported in February.
As for actual voter suppression, however, Greene doesn’t think much of that. “Standing in line to vote is not voter suppression; it’s part of the voting process,” she said on Tuesday. “Just like people stand in line to buy groceries at the grocery store.”
Baseless claims that voter fraud is rampant have been a hallmark of GOP rhetoric over the past few years, even as the party has tried to make it more difficult to vote.
Voter suppression around the U.S. has also manifested in other ways over the past few years, including voter ID laws, gerrymandering, poll closures, and so on. Due to expansions of vote-by-mail due to the pandemic, last year’s election saw record turnout and was deemed the “most secure in American history.”
This is particularly true in Greene’s home state of Georgia. In December 2019, for example, GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger purged more than 300,000 voters from Georgia’s rolls.The ACLU of Georgia released a report last year alleging that nearly 200,000 of those people were wrongfully removed.
But in a major upset, Trump lost Georgia in 2020. A few months later, Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won the state’s Senate runoffs, giving the Democrats control of the White House, the Senate, and the presidency for the first time in a decade.
And so Greene’s fellow Georgia Republicans are already working double-time to make sure they never lose a statewide election again.
On Monday, the Georgia House passed a bill that would not only greatly restrict vote-by-mail and require voter ID to do so, but would also make cut early voting hours on the weekend and make early voting entirely uniform across the state — even though Georgia counties range in population from under 2,000 to more than a million.
Georgia State Rep. Barry Fleming, a Republican, said the bill was “designed to begin to bring back the confidence of our voters back into our election system.” The bill passed, and will now go to the state Senate, which is considering its own voter suppression bill.
On Monday, Fair Fight Action, the voting rights group founded by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, called the Georgia House bill “one of the strictest and most anti-democratic pieces of voter suppression legislation in the country.”
“Today, GA Republicans once again showed just how critical the fight for the right to vote is in our state—and why action on federal legislation... is so urgent to protect Georgians’ voting rights,” the organization tweeted.