MSNBC Contributor: If Trump Is Acquitted, He Will Shut Down Voting in California

January 30, 2020

MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson on Thursday said President Donald Trump will eliminate Californians' right to vote in the 2020 election if the Senate does not remove him from office.

"Imagine Donald Trump deciding sometime in June, 'well I heard this conspiracy theory that a whole lot of illegal immigrants voted in California so I've decided that during the presidential election California has to undergo extreme vetting because we can't trust their votes. We’re going to shut down voting in a state,'" Johnson said. "This is literally the kind of thing he will do now. We're not talking hypotheticals anymore."

Johnson, a professor at Morgan State University, referenced the possibility that noncitizens voted in the 2016 and 2018 elections in California. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles reported that some noncitizens in the state might have incorrectly been registered to vote. Separately, the secretary of state’s office was unable to confirm whether noncitizens participated in the 2018 election. 

Johnson said Americans should "be terrified" of Trump's ability to overthrow America's democratic system.

"This is step one to actual autocracy, not the theoretical one," Johnson said. "Not the one we talk about in class, but an actual president who will say, 'this state's votes don't count, these people don't have a right to vote, these people can't come into the country.' That is what they are allowing to happen here. And I don't understand how anyone cannot be terrified."

San Francisco in 2018 passed a rule allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.