Former US Attorney General Eric Holder accused Republicans of using court challenges to facilitate “cheating” in the 2020 election and attempting to “suppress the vote all through the process.”
“There’s a lot of cheating that Republicans are trying to do here and they’re trying to get the courts to facilitate that cheating,” Holder, a Democrat who served in the Obama administration, told CNN’s Don Lemon Thursday night.
Pressed by Lemon as to what he meant by “cheating,” Holder replied that Republicans are “trying to change the rules at the end of the day. They tried to suppress the vote all through the process.”
Holder cited a GOP legal challenge to drive-through voting sites in a Texas county and an order from the Texas Republican governor limiting ballot drop boxes.
“There’s a whole range of things that they have done to make it difficult for people who they perceive to be Democrats to cast votes. It is seeing that the Republican Party wants to limit the number of people who want to vote. Democrats are trying to get as many people to vote and have as many votes counted as is possible,” Holder argued.
In the final days before the presidential election, state Republicans and Democrats in battleground states have been battling in the courts, bringing some cases to the US Supreme Court, seeking last minute approval to change election rules amid the coronavirus pandemic, especially regarding whether mail-in votes can arrive after Election Day and still be counted.
Holder said he’s worried about future challenges coming before the Supreme Court, which, now with the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, has a 6-3 conservative majority.
“I think we want to make sure that we get our ballots in and our votes in so we don’t leave it to the court to make any decisions here,” he said.
He also pointed to Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s proclamation to limit mail-in ballot drop box locations to one site per county as “cheating.” Abbott had previously said that his order was “ensure greater transparency” and “help stop attempts at illegal voting.” The order, first issued in October, significantly affects the Democratic stronghold of Harris County, the state’s most populous county.
“That is cheating. I defy Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, to explain a good logical reason why you would have one drop box in Harris County — 4 million people, bigger than I think the state of Rhode Island — why you would limit it to one drop box. You only try to gain partisan advantage. All the other reasons that they put forward are simply nonsense,” Holder told CNN.
“They’re trying to steal this election,” he added.
CNN has reached out to Abbott’s office in response to Holder’s comments.
The Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favor of Abbott’s order, saying it “provides Texas voters more ways to vote in the November 3 election than does the Election Code” and that it doesn’t “disenfranchise anyone.”