In an op-ed last week, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun slammed the media for their collective refusal to take seriously questions about voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election.

In the Washington Examiner piece, Braun, who, like most elected Republicans, has yet to publicly acknowledge Joe Biden as the president-elect, allowed that fraud was unlikely to change the outcome of the election.

But he noted, “The priority should be whether the large percentage of voters, some of whom elected me as their voice in the Senate, can be confident that our electoral process is free and fair. Failure to look into claims of voter fraud would be a dereliction of duty.”

Clearly, any legitimate, credible claims of voter fraud should be taken seriously. And protecting the integrity of the vote is critical.

To date, the lawsuits filed by attorneys for the Trump campaign in state and federal courts have failed. In some cases, they’ve been dismissed by judges in scathing terms. Last month, an appeals court judge appointed by Trump ruled against his campaign’s effort to overturn Biden’s win in Pennsylvania based on unsupported allegations of voter fraud.

But if Braun is concerned about the importance of a large percentage of voters having confidence that the voting process is “free and fair,” he might turn his attention to the voting changes — including purging voter rolls, closing polling places, cutting early voting and challenging eligibility — that have been put in place in recent years since the Supreme Court struck down key parts of the Voting Rights Act.

A Washington Post op-ed this week posits that the “stolen election myth” surrounding the 2020 election will lead to a whole new round of voter suppression laws, with even stricter voter ID laws and further restrictions — even the elimination of drop boxes — all designed to fall more heavily on groups including African Americans, Latinos, students and anyone more likely to vote for Democrats.

That sounds like just the sort of threat to election integrity that Braun wrote of so passionately. Wonder if he’ll pen an op-ed on the subject — and who will get the blame.

South Bend Tribune

- South Bend Tribune

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