If 99% of America showed up to vote, it wouldn’t matter what the 1% wanted.
It’s important to remember that the Founders weren’t particularly interested in making voting a right available to all citizens. They knew the vote was so important that they employed the prejudices of their time to restrict to white male property owners. Sometimes it seems that what Republicans admire most about the Founders was the demographics of their electorate.
Obviously, voting is a right that Americans have fought and died for. And it’s a right far too many take for granted.
You hear people saying that this election doesn’t matter, both sides are the same. (Tell that to women who rely on Planned Parenthood, or people with preexisting conditions or parents with extremely sick kids.) Even after 2000 in Florida, people say that one vote doesn’t matter. I often hear, “Even if 100 percent of Americans voted they’d still be fooled into voting against their own interests.”
Ask yourself this: If your vote didn’t matter, why would Republicans be trying to take it away from you? If voting didn’t matter, Republicans would have no problem with black Americans, poor Americans or students easily doing it.
But they do. Republicans in more than than a dozen states have passed laws since 2010 that restrict voting rights. Nearly as many laws limiting voting rights were passed in the last two years as were put into law between 1865-1967. And this all happened because millions of Americans CHOSE not to vote in 2010 — a fact we’ll be living with until at least 2020.
The Nation‘s Ari Berman has been documenting the “The GOP’s War On Voting” since the summer of last year and done a heroic job of making people aware of the issue. Recently he’s gotten some help from the federal courts and Sarah Silverman. But the fight to keep Democrats from voting continues despite the real evidence that Republicans are the ones who tend to engage in significant voter fraud.
Here are seven things Ari Berman thinks you need to know about the GOP’s voter suppression efforts adapted from this interview:
1. There is no evidence of voter fraud that a voter ID law would stop.
2. A significant percentage of Americans — about 10 percent –don’t have these IDs and don’t have access to the underlying documents needed to get the IDs.
3. These laws are a politically motivated attempt by Republicans to shape an electorate in their own favor before anyone has even cast a ballot.
4. These laws are expensive to implement, costing millions of dollars, and that money would be better spent elsewhere.
5. These laws will create confusion and long lines at polling places, which will negatively impact a large number of voters who have valid ID.
6. Voting, unlike buying Sudafed or flying on a plane, is a constitutionally protected right that people have died for in this country and is something we shouldn’t restrict without a significant and compelling reason to do so.
7. We should be making it easier, not harder, for all eligible voters in this country to cast a ballot.
What can you do to help? Register to vote in the form below then SHARE THIS PAGE. Or volunteer to register voters off the Internet, if you can still find such a place.
[Graphic by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]