Yesterday was National Voter Registration Day, which I missed because I was taking a five-mile walk, punctuated by stopping into bookstores and sitting in cafes. But I saw this graphic on Facebook late in the day, and it inspired me to comment.
The Republican Party is basically trying to steal this election by making it harder for likely Democratic voters to vote. Voter fraud is a virtually non-existent problem in the United States — in the entire decade between 2000 and 2010, only 13 people were convicted of impersonating someone else in order to vote in their name — but with voter ID laws, millions of legal, eligible voters will not be able to vote. This is not an accidental side effect of voter ID laws — it’s the whole freaking point. They’ve said as much, in actual words.
And this issue isn’t just about voter ID: in many states, early voting is being reduced or limited. And in the crucial swing state of Ohio, the voting hours have been made different from district to district, with heavily Democratic districts being limited to voting during working hours on weekdays, and heavily Republican districts being given expanded voting hours on nights and weekends.
The Republican Party is trying to prevent African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, students, poor people, and other citizens who are legally allowed to vote and are likely to vote Democratic from voting.
Don’t let them.
Make sure you’re registered to vote. Make sure you have whatever fucking stupid ID they require of you to vote. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time on Election Day to vote. Better yet — vote early or absentee if you can. And then — or hell, now — pressure your elected officials to stop disenfranchising voters already.
However you’re inclined to vote — Democratic, Republican, independent, Libertarian, Green, Socialist, Silly Party — make sure you can vote. And make sure you do vote.
Oh, and memo to the Republican Party: If your campaign strategy is “citizens who are likely to vote hate us, so we’re going to try to keep millions of them from voting”? Maybe you need to change that. Maybe you should look at adopting a “having policies that don’t make people hate us” strategy instead. Just a thought.