Perhaps the gap between what pollsters predicted and actual Democratic votes is due less to the inaccuracy of predictions and more to the success of Republican voter suppression.

Joe Biden leads in Georgia by “only” 12,000 votes, but a report for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia stated that 198,351 voters were wrongly removed from the rolls by Republican officials. Biden leads Wisconsin by “only” 20,000 votes, but Republican officials had purged 130,000 voters from the rolls. Taking into account subtler forms of suppression — the Republican governor of Texas tried to limit vote drop boxes to one per county; Republicans in Wisconsin successfully opposed extending the deadline for absentee ballots to six days after the election while President Donald Trump’s Postmaster General was slowing mail delivery of ballots; and ID laws — perhaps a substantial portion of Democratic “underperformance” was actually Republican overperformance at suppression.

One hopes that the next U.S. Attorney General will direct the Justice Department to investigate this allegation, which, unlike Trump’s and U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s allegations, is not without evidence. The letter and spirit of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, overturned by a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2013, must be reinstated.

Michael D. Perlman, Seattle