Someone doesn’t want YOU to vote. Don’t let them steal YOUR vote!! Don’t let them steal YOUR voice!!!
Another election season approaches and the forces of voter suppression are out in full force. While there was good news today from North Carolina where the US Court of Appeals struck down two key provisions of that state’s “Voter Suppression” law, the forces seeking to restrict the ability to vote for all but White Christians are hard at work making certain that only certain types of people find it easy to express their constitutional right to vote.
Perhaps it is true that the Founding Fathers never intended anyone other than White, Christian, landowners to participate in our democracy. Of course, there is some evidence that we had moved forward from that including Women’s Suffrage (1920) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).
The Supreme Court’s striking down some of the provisions of the 1965 act has led to a spate of new laws purportedly aimed at curbing voter fraud. This is a case of the cure being worse than the disease, especially if you are a minority voter. More than 30 US States have attempted to implement some form of restrictive voter regulations.
While much of this is common knowledge, there is a much more insidious effort to suppress voter turnout. This is a concerted campaign of misinformation targeted at minorities, the poor, and college students. Now, I can’t prove that one party is responsible for this but the groups targeted do tend to vote a certain way.
College students have become a favorite target of voter misinformation. They vote largely Democratic, are new voters, and may be able to choose where they vote; either in the domicile of their parents homes or in the domicile of their college.
Certain political forces have undertaken to spread the word that if a student registers to vote in the domicile of their college, the will be subject to loss of financial aid. This is a big LIE!! Voter registration has nothing to do with financial aid. No federal loans and grants are tied to the state you vote in.
It’s just an attempt to scare college students into forfeiting their vote.
Now here’s why they lie. Take New Hampshire as an example. There is a US Senatorial election this year in New Hampshire. In the last Senate election, in 2010, 439,000 New Hampshire residents took the time to vote. In 2008, which was a presidential election year, 672,000 people voted in New Hampshire. That year Jean Shaheen a Democrat won election by 42,000 votes. For a small state New Hampshire has a lot of college students. Approximately, 80,000 to be exact. If we assume that these students vote 70% for the Democrats, then fully suppressing college students’ votes could reduce the Democratic plurality by 32,000 votes (56,000 D vs. 24,000 R). That’s huge in a state where there will be a close election with a relatively small number of votes cast.
The votes of college students in a state such as New Hampshire are incredibly valuable.
By the way, this isn’t just about New Hampshire. Voter suppression through legal as well as through coercive means is happening in EVERY state in the US.
So how do you get the facts and exercise YOUR right?
There are a few sites that are set up to make it easy to learn the facts and exercise your rights.
First, try Claim Your Vote, there you will find people that you know giving you the straight facts.
Then try Fair Elections, all the facts about your rights on a state by state basis are here.
Finally, check out Turbovote, everything from information, to easy registration, to reminders about voting are at this amazing site.
Someone out there wants to deprive you of your legal rights. Are you going to let them?