Ep 6. Voter Suppression: Let Us Count the Ways
Voter suppression is a strategy used to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups of people from voting. It is distinguished from political campaigning in that campaigning attempts to change likely voting behavior by changing the opinions of potential voters through persuasion and organization.
Voter suppression → attempts to reduce the number of voters who might vote against a candidate or proposition.
The Tactics of Voter Suppression range from minor changes to make voting less convenient, to physically intimidating and even physically attacking prospective voters, which is illegal.
- Limiting the amount of places to vote
- Limiting the time one can vote
- Not having voting be compulsory but where you must register and keep information accurately updated works against engaging younger voters
- Shutting down Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in minority neighborhoods,
- Making it more difficult for residents to obtain voter IDs
- Shutting down polling places in minority neighborhoods;
- Systematically depriving precincts in minority neighborhoods of the resources they need to operate efficiently, such as poll workers and voting machines; and purging voters from the rolls shortly before an election
US HISTORY OF VOTER SUPPRESSION:
- First you had to own property→ white males ONLY
- Jim Crow years: poll tax, literacy test, and grandfather clause- to prove your grandfather had been born in the US- repressing slaves
- In Texas 2016: a voter ID law requiring a driver’s license, passport, military identification, or gun permit, was repeatedly found to be intentionally discriminatory– PRECISION OF SUPPRESSION: Student IDs could not be used as IDs
- In Wisconsin under Scott Walker: imposing strict voter ID requirements, the law cut back on early voting, required people to live in a ward for at least 28 days before voting, and prohibited emailing absentee ballots to voters
- In Iowa: Lawmakers passed a strict voter ID law with the potential to disenfranchise 260,000 voters. Out of 1.6 million votes cast in Iowa in 2016, there were only 10 allegations of voter fraud;
- May 2017: President Donald Trump established the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, purportedly for the purpose of preventing voter fraud. Critics have suggested its true purpose is voter suppression.
- Kansas secretary of state: Kris Kobach, a staunch advocate of strict voter ID laws and a proponent of the Crosscheck system. Crosscheck is a national database designed to check for voters who are registered in more than one state by comparing names and dates of birth. Researchers at Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Microsoft found that for every legitimate instance of double registration it finds, Crosscheck’s algorithm returns approximately 200 false positives….. Kobach has been repeatedly sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for trying to restrict voting rights in Kansas
FELONS ARE CITIZENS TOO: Across this country today, an estimated 5.8 million Americans – 5.8 million of our fellow citizens – are prohibited from voting because of current or previous felony convictions. That’s more than the individual populations of 31 U.S. states
The upcoming 2020 election has huge consequences and everyone needs to get out their ad do their civic duty, but what if you can’t find your polling place, or found out that it has moved across town and you don’t’ drive. Maybe your state requires a photo I.D. or you can’t afford to miss work? Unfortunately, these are the realities voters face. Be INFORMED, help others understand, and fight for your right to vote.