Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Fighting Voter Suppression

Without fail, one of the major parties has worked to expand the vote and the other has worked to suppress it. It's an important difference, especially because the voter suppression efforts of conservatives/Republicans have been in such glaring bad faith. I've seen multiple blogs post the infamous Paul Weyrich video from 1980 I linked earlier:

The New York Times delivers a scathing editorial on the subject:

This year, voting is more than just the core responsibility of citizenship; it is an act of defiance against malicious political forces determined to reduce access to democracy. Millions of ballots on Tuesday — along with those already turned in — will be cast despite the best efforts of Republican officials around the country to prevent them from playing a role in the 2012 election.

Even now, many Republicans are assembling teams to intimidate voters at polling places, to demand photo ID where none is required, and to cast doubt on voting machines or counting systems whose results do not go their way. The good news is that the assault on voting will not affect the election nearly as much as some had hoped. Courts have either rejected or postponed many of the worst laws. Predictions that up to five million people might be disenfranchised turned out to be unfounded.

But a great deal of damage has already been done, and the clearest example is that on Sunday in Florida, people will not be allowed to vote early. Four years ago, on the Sunday before Election Day, tens of thousands of Floridians cast their ballots, many of them black churchgoers who traveled directly from services to their polling places. Because most of them voted for Barack Obama, helping him win the state, Republicans eliminated early voting on that day. No legitimate reason was given; the action was entirely partisan in nature.

Read the rest. Voter suppression efforts in Ohio and Florida are among the worst. (As I wrote earlier, there must be a way to prosecute Ohio Secretary of State John Husted for his repeated, egregious misconduct.)

I gotta say, this stuff, really, really pisses me off. It is unconscionable. And while I can't change everything with my vote, I can protest this type of bigotry, corruption, anti-democratic authoritarianism and banal evil. Yeah, voting is the best revenge.

Here's a little history and inspiration. First, Congressman John Lewis at the 2012 DNC:

Kerry Washington hit some similar themes:

This history is very important, and shouldn't be forgotten.

Stories of election worker incompetence are also troubling (even if a supervisor fixed things in the incident in question, thankfully). The default mode of election workers should to help people cast their votes, not to find ways to say "no" and impede them.

Meanwhile, Digby catches supposedly-reasonable conservative David Frum (who endorsed Romney on gridlock-sabotage grounds, great move there) complaining about Democratic voter tampering, picking a doozy of an example, and ignoring several giant elephants in the process. I guess that's how these bastards live with themselves after being paid hacks and working for Team Evil for so long. (Also see driftglass on the gridlock-sabotage BS.)

I linked the Election Protection site earlier, and Rick Hasen's election law blog is also useful. Get out the vote!

1 comment:

Syrbal/Labrys said...

Thank you for reminding people....the right to vote is also a duty; and the fight to vote is unfortunately still necessary.