Voter suppression, when you do an internet search for articles, shows that this is something very much in affect during this 2016 presidential campaign – and its one purpose (as a recognised strategy) is to influence the outcome of an election. Laws can, and have, been passed to make it harder for voters to vote.
A friend drew my attention to a news story about Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream guys, getting arrested at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and it had me intrigued.
It was all part of the Democracy Awakening organised protests through April 16-18 2016 which describes itself as …
… a broad coalition of organizations representing the labor, peace, environmental, student, racial justice, civil rights and money in politics reform movements. We share a firm belief that we will not win on the full range of policy issues we all care about until we combat attacks on voting rights and the integrity of the vote by big money.
Ben & Jerry stated on their website that they joined in with the protests because of ..
the flood of unregulated cash flowing into campaigns and elections. And the second is the wave of attacks in many states on citizens’ right to vote. | via benjerry.com
Both points are extremely valid, but it was the second one, in particular, that sent a shiver down my spine. The one about voters having their right to vote, or the the ease with which they can do so, restricted or managed in some way.
I did some quick research and found something that impacted on my state of Ohio, and others, which made me feel really uneasy. Voter Suppression laws were passed by various states, including Ohio, that restricted the ease with which people could cast a vote – from reducing the number of voting stations available, to reducing the number or types of ID accepted (something that disproportionately impacts women), to the reduction of early voting hours, and disallowing same-day registration.
Both Democratic candidates Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have filed lawsuits in various states that could, or already have, restricted a staggering number of people from voting with ease.
Whatever the reasons that are given, other than the obvious one of trying to manoeuvre votes to favour one party or Presidential Race 2016 candidate, why, or maybe more importantly, how were voter suppression laws ever allowed to happen in this country? America a democracy? It does not seem so.
Is this really how the voting people of America should be treated? Have you protested or encountered any issues while trying to vote? Do you think the voter suppression laws are fair and a good idea?
Please share your thoughts.
JULY 2016 UPDATE: A related story – Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down NC Voter ID Law