It’d likely be impossible unless you were willing to engage in a little light torture, but if you were to somehow get an average politician to answer you honestly, an overwhelming majority of them would probably tell you the most obnoxious part the whole democracy thing is the voting part.
Listening to normies talk about their personal — ugh — “needs” can be a real buzzkill when you’re on the Hill legislating your little heart out. Deciding the fate of the country is so much easier when you don’t have to think about the peons you’re supposedly there to “represent.”
First, there was gerrymandering, but, as much fun as drawing all those crazy shapes can be, the tactic is getting a little too much heat these days. Something about being insanely unethical. Who really listens when a liberal is talking?
So, with gerrymandering out the window, politicians across the nation are saying, to Hell with redrawing districts, let’s just disqualify voters altogether. Voter purging; it’s all the rage with a politician near you.
The Death of the Voting Rights Act
This whole problem started all the way back in 2013 before the world had been graced by the benevolence of old Donny T. In a landmark ruling that drew serious tsks from the notorious RBG, the Supreme Court ruled a section in the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.
The section in question obliged certain states — Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia — and individual towns and communities (like Brooklyn and the Bronx) to run any changes to their elections past the federal government first. In striking down the section of the Voting Rights Act, the conservative majority of the Supreme Court proclaimed that the oversight therein exceeds the grasp of the federal government. Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote in his majority decision, “Our country has changed.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the ruling was a disservice to both the nation’s “commitment to justice” and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Texas Is on a Voter Purging Spree
It took the people in Texas about four seconds to start their own enthusiastic wave of voter suppression. Between 2012 and 2014, the number of voters purged from rolls jumped 360,000 over the same period of time between 2008 and 2010.
Apparently, the state disqualified hundreds of thousands of voters under the mistaken impression that the Texans were dead people. Those voters who didn’t correct the problem when they received a letter in the mail — why, by the way, did Texas send a letter to a corpse? — found themselves unable to vote in the next election.
Those who tried to fix the problem weren’t always successful. Texan Terry Collins explained, “Friday of last week, I got a letter saying that my voting registration would be revoked because I’m deceased, I’m dead. When I tried to call [to fix the problem] I was on hold for an hour, never got anyone,” she says. “I called three days in a row and was on hold for an hour or more.”
A big portion of the targeted voters were aging minorities in the state’s urban areas. For some reason …
Brian Kemp Is Solid Leadership Material
On October 19, the news broke that gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp had improperly purged 340,000 voters from Georgia’s registration rolls while working in his capacity as secretary of state. Kemp and his buddies said these voters had changed addresses and failed to update their registration. That wasn’t true; none of the people in question had moved.
Investigative journalist Greg Palast told reporters, “Their registration is canceled. Not pending, not inactive – canceled. If they show up to vote on 6 November, they will not be allowed to vote.”
The best part is, exactly one day later Old Donny J came out with a “Strong Endorsement” of Kemp.
The Trumperator: proving once more precisely how little the opinion of the American people means to him.
Brooklyn’s Voting Conundrum
On April 20, 2016, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he received six times the average number of voter complaints regarding the primary the day before. Voting rights monitors reported, “numerous errors, including the purging of entire buildings and blocks of voters from the voting lists.”
In the end, more than 60,000 Brooklyn Democrats discovered that they were unable to vote in the primary election between native Brooklynite Bernie Sanders and Hillary “But, It’s My Turn” Clinton. The New York City Board of Elections ended up suspending two of its top officials before dismissing the need for reform.
In Ohio, Voting Is Your Job, Not Your Right
This June, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the state’s jokingly named use-it-or-lose-it voting law. If a voter fails to cast their ballot in two consecutive elections, then the state sends out a postcard to confirm the voter is still, you know, alive. If said voter doesn’t return the postcard, their name is stricken from registration rolls.
Okay, so skipping past the … you know what? No. A brief lecture: every vote, every time is critical even if it’s not in direct opposition to Donald Trump. It’s your civic duty, and you have a responsibility and a privilege to engage.
Now, stepping off that moral soapbox, even if you choose not to vote from the time you’re eighteen until the time you’re fifty, a citizen of the United States has the right to walk into a voting booth and cast a ballot without getting hassled about your voting hiatus. Unless I guess, you live in Ohio.