how voter suppression is a danger to our democracy

voting_

 

I had to double-check to make sure that I haven’t already written about this topic because it’s something that I think and talks a lot about. Voter suppression is a very dangerous and serious topic, especially now that the coronavirus is further aiding suppressive efforts by those trying to hamper voters. In my post how the coronavirus is testing our election system, I touch a little bit on its impact on voter suppression. However, this post is going to go much deeper into the issue, COVID-19’s heightening effects, and how it is a danger to the country and its values. As always, there will be several resources and articles at the end of this post, for further education. You can also click here to read more of my posts about the coronavirus or here to read more on voting.

 


 

what is voter suppression? To put it simply, though the topic is not, voter suppression is organized action, legal or illegal, taken to hamper people from voting and discourage voting. More often than not, voter suppression efforts target marginalized and minority communities in hopes of diminishing their voice and impact.

why does the GOP want to restrict voters? I’d like to be clear that it’s not only the GOP taking efforts to suppress voters. It’s just that at this moment in history, they are taking advantage of the pandemic to put down voters in a more widespread manner. To put it simply, they want to maintain control of the makeup of government, and the country by extension. There is a long history of voter suppression in the country and the intent is always to take power away from the people. Furthermore, the people that are usually the targets of voter suppression are the people voting for the other side. With the upcoming presidential election and currently debilitating government, voting becomes more powerful than ever.

what does this have to do with the coronavirus? As I’ve said in past posts, the coronavirus is exposing the nation’s weak points. This means that as a country, we could move forward and amend those aspects, or political parties can further exploit the pandemic to ensure that those weak points become irreparable. People are afraid and the country is becoming even more polarized if that’s possible. So far, the measures that have been taken consist of banning voting by mail and insisting on in-person voting, during a pandemic. Banning voting by mail does nothing except restricting the voters who are firmly against going in crowded areas. Similarly, insisting on in-person voting deters people from voting at all! There are even more blatant shows of this as local governments failed to permit an extension to absentee voting with no valid justification. These politicians repeatedly suppress the vote and keep getting away with it, even when they basic reason or general justification.

what is the long term effect of voter suppression? The clear answer is a corrupt government, but that’s not anything new. As republicans grow stronger in their plans to restrict the voter, they gain more power to continue to do so. So then, the country has a deeply rooted problem that creates a cycle, preventing voters to get rid of the problem. However, how can we vote to end voter suppression, if our vote is being overlooked as suppressing at the same time? With every law that is passed to suppress that aspect of our democracy, we inch closer to an autocratic tyranny.

what does voting mean to us? I know at times like these, it’s hard to imagine that the country used to be a democratic role model to the world, a superpower even. Back then, voting was meant to be our greatest power as citizens, to ensure that the government was formed in the image of the people. And it still should. Voting is the epitome of a well-functioning democracy, along with our constitutional rights. Regardless of voter’s political party, personal opinions, race, gender, etc., we have always had the right to vote because that’s what America was built for. A place where we could help form the government by sharing our opinions.

sign of hope. The only reason I’m mentioning this is that I wanted to end the post on a more positive and optimistic note. While voter suppression has statistically proven effects on voter turn out, the overlook of minority communities, and corruption within the government, there is a small sign that we are moving the right way. Organizations dedicated to protecting voting rights are growing in influence and strength. Despite recent efforts in the latest elections, voter turn out was up as voters were ready with masks and PPE, willing to stand in line for the future of their state. Additionally, the republicans dedicated to suppressing the vote were outvoted as a result.

 


 

Resources:

image via. google

https://www.aclu.org/news/civil-liberties/block-the-vote-voter-suppression-in-2020/

https://time.com/5817380/voter-suppression-coronavirus/

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/4/17/21219034/coronavirus-wisconsin-voting-rights-november-election

https://www.demandthevote.com/what-is-voter-suppression

https://time.com/5852837/voter-suppression-obstacles-just-america/

 

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