It's a civics lesson young students and academia won't have to read about in history books - because they are living it firsthand right now. Voter suppression. It seems to be the only way Republicans can ensure their unethical, sharp-tongued, bully-based candidate stays in the White House - but at what cost to our democracy?
Voter suppression is not a new strategy in campaigning, but the way in which it's being manipulated currently is indeed something unique to this GOP variety. Voter suppression is normally used to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing specific groups of people from voting. Political campaigning attempts to alter likely voting behavior by changing the opinions of potential voters through persuasion and organization, activating otherwise inactive voters, or registering new supporters.
The current Republican regime doesn't care about changing hearts and minds...they care about suppressing the vote. It may actually be the only way they will stand a chance at winning the 2020 election - and they know it.
Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) shamelessly just removed all but one ballot drop-off box location in the state's largest counties. Under his new order, counties like Harris, with 12 drop-off locations, and Travis, with four, can each have only one location. The stunt has resulted in people driving up to 50 miles to literally wait in their cars as the line stretches around the parking lot...to put their ballot in a drop-box so they don't have to mail it in case it doesn't make it in time - or at all.
This is the line... **for the dropoff box**. https://t.co/UpYjTL74WL— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@Rachel Maddow MSNBC) 1602009075.0
“This haphazard decision by Gov. Abbott, to change the rules of the game at the last moment, is confusing to voters, and will serve to depress Texas votes, plain and simple,” Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins said Friday at a news conference. “This decision should not stand. To force hundreds of thousands of seniors and voters with disabilities here in Harris County, and millions of voters across the state of Texas to use a single drop-off facility in these massive counties is not only prejudicial, but it’s dangerous."
Republicans in Pennsylvania are conducting their own shenanigans by introducing a resolution to create a state legislative committee “to investigate, review and make recommendations concerning the regulation and conduct of the 2020 general election... before and after the Nov. 3, 2020, General Election.”
It's worth noting that Texas and Pennsylvania are states where Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has had a consistent upward trend versus President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election cycle.
Voter ID laws have been estimated by the U.S. Government Accountability Office to reduce voter turnout by 2-3 percentage points, translating to tens of thousands of votes lost in a single state. That's because over 21 million U.S. citizens do not have government-issued photo identification.
According to the ACLU, 70 percent of Georgia voters purged in 2018 were Black; one in 13 Black Americans cannot vote due to disenfranchisement laws; one-third of voters who have a disability report difficulty voting; only 40 percent of polling places fully accommodate people with disabilities; across the country, counties with larger minority populations have fewer polling sites and poll workers per voter; six in ten college students come from out of state in New Hampshire, the state trying to block residents with out of state drivers’ licenses.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Trump's disinformation campaign aims to discredit the voting process from every angle, be it mail-in voter fraud or ballots being found in a a Wisconsin ditch - both of which have proven unfounded. In September, Donald Trump Jr. issued a call for “every able-bodied man and woman to join Army for Trump’s election security operation because the “radical left” was going “to add millions of fraudulent ballots that can cancel your vote and overturn the election.”
There's also the 250 court battles currently being waged across the country in relation to voter suppression efforts.
The message from Democrats to voters is to make a plan to vote and show up early. The one thing Republicans can't fight is high voter turnout from Democrats - and democracy is counting on it.