Since the 2018 midterm election cycle, I have been collecting links to various articles on the subject of voter suppression in the United States, and have continued to do so going into this cycle. I had no idea that I would be collecting such a vast range of tactics actively preventing people from voting here in the United States. Never in my wildest dreams, did my younger self ever imagine that a “first world country” ever be subject to this. The repeal of certain provisions of the voting rights act in a Supreme Court decision in 2013 made a significant change to just how vulnerable this country would become. Whereas before, local jurisdictions had to get approval from the U.S. Attorney general or US district court for changes to their voting laws. Now, local jurisdictions are free to amend their laws without the need for pre-approval from these federal authorities.
There have been plenty of other articles on this subject, that generally cover it in great detail. But even those seem to not quite grasp the extent to which voting has been suppressed in this election cycle. The Daily Beast covered five tactics being used (closing polling locations, purging voters, preventing rehabilitated citizens from voting, Voter id laws, and not offering early voting). But there are even more tactics in use than these. This is the first post (more like a landing page) in a blog series that attempts to present those tactics, and more, in an easily digestible way. It won’t go into a deep dive in any one area, but it will demonstrate that how election system is being manipulated via a death by a thousand cuts.
Suffice to say, Republicans want to make it harder for democrats to vote, and they want to make their votes count less. But don’t take my word on that, hear Senator Hyde-Smith in 2018 saying she thinks making it harder to vote for liberals is a great idea. The “Other schools” she was referring to are historically black colleges. As this article in the Guardian points out, how can you quantify the missing votes of people who were suppressed into not voting? After all, you don’t need a majority of support of your electorate if you can prevent the majority from voting.
It’s not hard to find other articles that take a comprehensive look at voter suppression tactics that have been used in the U.S. The Daily Beast identified five tactics in use leading up to the 2018 midterms. They highlight:
- Closing polling places
- Purging voters
- Restricting voting rights from felons
- Voter ID laws
- Eliminating early voting
The list list seems focused around the tactical act of casting a ballot before and during an election, but suppressing votes is all about getting the result you want and disproportionately giving one party more power than they would have earned. So this list should be much longer. It really is a death by a thousand cuts that Republicans are trying to inflict on the democratic process in the United States, and yes, the U.S. is a “democracy”. While that word did not have the same meaning back when the founding fathers established our constitution as it does now, we have since redefined it to apply to the system of representative government as it was defined in the constitution.
Over the last several elections, Republicans kept claiming voter fraud over and over, Donald Trump famously claimed that he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes because of it. The Republican Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, even called police to investigate fraud in his state. But in Rick Scott’s case, he called for an investigation into heavily democratic Broward count, but not any of the Republican counties. Both of these examples are abuse of their positions to cast doubt into our democratic processes and refuse to validate their fair elections.
A word of warning. Any one of these subjects can go pretty deep on their own. This report does not do any of them justice. I’ve done my best to provide an overview of a category of voter suppression tactics, and concrete examples of the tactics in action. Also, while I am very open about my own politics, I do truly believe that everyone in our nation must be fairly represented. Regardless of whether I agree with them. It does no one good if any of these tactics are used anywhere, so I do provide examples of these practices being used by any “side.”
But as you will see, there is a strong disparity here. If there is one thing I am trying to highlight here, cheating is a common occurrence in U.S. elections. If we are to overcome this cheating, and provide fair an equal representation for all, than it is critically important for everyone to vote, in every election.
Here is my list of tactics being used to suppress the right to vote in the United States. the methods in use of course go beyond this list, and I will continually add to this when I can. Over the next several weeks, I will publish a new article outlining how each are happening in the United States.
- Reject Absentee Ballots
- Closing Precincts / Polling places
- Purging Voters
- Voter ID Laws
- Remove Voting rights from felons
- Lack of early voting and mail-in ballots
- Voting Machine Reliability
- Deceptive Practices by poll workers
They are in no particular order. I also have have several more topics not listed here that I am still in the process of expanding on. So check back here to see regular updates.