Last night’s episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver took a break from the endless speculation and discussion about Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection to focus on something that we’re pretty sure is still actually happening: the election. In 29 days we’ll head to the polls and stand in a line 10 times longer than Space Mountain’s, or maybe instead we’ll be stressed and worried about whether our mail-in ballot is actually going to be counted or not. Either way the specter of election fraud will be clouding the entire process, and not because of voters trying to cheat the system. It’s because one party has systematically tried to undermine the election for decades, and now, under their current president, have blasted into overdrive in their attempts to prevent people from voting and disqualify their ballot if they do vote.
This week Oliver looks at the GOP’s assault on the election, from Trump refusing to say he’ll accept the outcome, to Bill Barr actively undermining confidence in the electoral process by going on TV and talking about how confidence in the electoral process is being undermined. As Oliver points out, this is far from a new tactic—there’s a decades-old history of Republicans trying to depress turn-out, including hiring armed “ballot watchers” as far back as 1981. Trump has even been encouraging his followers to play what Oliver calls “ballot Batman” this year, serving as amateur, uninvited, volunteer poll watchers on election day. One party is blatantly laying the groundwork to refuse the results of this year’s election, and it’s important everybody realizes that so we as a country can prepare to counter whatever efforts they take to that end.
Check out the full segment below. Sorry it’s not about Trump getting COVID—they research these segments so far in advance that there’s no way Oliver could’ve whipped up a 20 minute package about the president’s illness in the 30 or so hours between when that news broke and Oliver taped his show.