The officials who actively use voter suppression tactics don’t want you to know they’re doing it. Which is why it’s so important to pay attention to what’s happening locally.
Who’s on your county Board of Elections? What decisions are they making about polling locations and hours, etc. for the November midterms?
As an example of under-the-radar tactics they can use, let’s look at a recent example from Georgia. This is happening NOW. Here’s the quick explanation from Daily Kos’ Election blog:
Georgia: In a move reminiscent of the Jim Crow era, the board of elections in Randolph County has proposed eliminating seven of its nine polling places. Randolph is a low-income, rural county that is heavily black, and 22 percent of residents don’t have a car, so these closures could make it unduly burdensome for voters to cast a ballot in person. This burden could be particularly acute for black voters: One proposed precinct closure is in an area that is 97 percent black, and some voters without cars would have to walk for hours to vote in person.
Board members claim that they’ve proposed these closures because the polling places in question aren’t compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and have fallen into disrepair. However, opponents of the plan rightly retort that the situation is cause for new maintenance to improve these polling places, not a reason to shut them down entirely. And putting the lie to the board’s claims, these precincts were already used without major problems in this year’s primary. The ACLU has sent a letter to the board demanding the poll sites be kept open.
Blatant and obvious voter suppression. Thankfully, some eagle-eyed activists (and the ACLU!) are pushing back.
In fact, if you want to help, head over to this great explainer at DemWrite Press for what you can do: https://demwritepress.com/2018/08/22/urgent-randolph-county-ga-needs-immediate-help-to-stop-gop-suppression/
Remember that the Republicans have proven, over and over, that they will suppress voters in order to give themselves any edge in elections. Expect it, then look for it in your own backyard.
Take Charge of your Activism
They have no shame. It’s not a dog whistle anymore. It’s a bullhorn and they’re doing it because they can…thanks to the SCOTUS. We need a new Voting Rights Act….ASAP
Let’s win November, and then elect a Democratic president who will sign that bill!
Absolutely….We need to do both!!
A friend of mine worked on voter suppression issues during the 2012 election, and she was extremely dismayed with the variety of voter suppression tactics used back then. And I don’t think it has become any better since then.
And whatever method gets shut down, a new one shows up in its place. We need to be constantly vigilant.