It wasn’t terribly big news on March 7, 2021. President Joe Biden, then less than two months in office, signed an executive order “promoting voting rights,” in the words of the Washington Post, to “make voting easier,” in the words of the New York Times. Both papers played the story as a modest Democratic measure to push back against Republican efforts to “roll back voting access,” as the Washington Post put it, and to counter former President Donald Trump’s “months-long assault on the voting process,” as the New York Times said.

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