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Trump supporters outside of the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta in November 2020. Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Republican lawmakers in key states that President-elect Biden won have vowed to crack down on voting reforms implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic that made it easier for Americans to vote, according to AP.

Why it matters: The popular reforms contributed to this year's record turnout and did not produce widespread fraud as claimed by President Trump and his supporters, according to the Department of Justice.

Context: Attorney General Bill Barr told AP in early December that the department did not uncover evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The big picture:

  • Georgia: Republicans in Georgia, which Biden narrowly won, have proposed requiring a photo ID when voting absentee, a ban on drop boxes and requiring an excuse for mail voting.
    • Georgia's two U.S. Senate runoffs in January will take place under current law.
  • Pennsylvania: Republicans, who hold a majority in both Pennsylvania legislative chambers, are discussing changing a law that extends mail voting to all registered voters by instead requiring an excuse to receive a ballot in the mail.
  • Michigan: Republican legislators held a hearing where lawyers for Trump baselessly alleged widespread voting irregularities, and the Democratic secretary of state warned that could precipitate new voting rules.

Of note: Some Republican-held states are instead attempting to make it easier for Americans to vote.

  • In Ohio, Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose told AP that he hopes to expand early voting locations and add an online option for requesting absentee ballots.

Go deeper: Georgia's early voting for Senate seats starts with heavy turnout

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 4: Trump turns on Barr

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Drew Angerer, Pool/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 4: Trump torches what is arguably the most consequential relationship in his Cabinet.

Attorney General Bill Barr stood behind a chair in the private dining room next to the Oval Office, looming over Donald Trump. The president sat at the head of the table. It was Dec. 1, nearly a month after the election, and Barr had some sharp advice to get off his chest. The president's theories about a stolen election, Barr told Trump, were "bullshit."

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

OIG: HHS misused millions of dollars intended for public health threats

Vaccine vials. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress on Wednesday of an investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services misused millions of dollars that were budgeted for vaccine research and public health emergencies for Ebola, Zika and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The more than 200-page investigation corroborated claims from a whistleblower, showing the agency's violation of the Purpose Statute spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations and paid for unrelated projects like salaries, news subscriptions and the removal of office furniture.