Voter Suppression: The Players Are Mobilizing
On July 19, 2014 Gene Nichol wrote a voter suppression commentary that appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer. I recommend it to readers that are keeping abreast with the developing activity around voter suppression. He described voter suppression efforts in North Carolina as “ending same-day registration, cutting early voting from 17 days to 10, eliminating a popular high school civics program encouraging students to register before they turn 18, expanding poll “observers” and instituting the country’s toughest photo ID requirement, the statute (Voter Suppression Act) as a cornucopia of voter restriction.”
Nichol noted that, what I’ve called the Voter Suppression Act of 2013, (the Act) changes election law in dozens of disparate and intersecting ways. He noted that the principal features have only this in common: Each makes it harder to vote than it was before.
Throughout Greater Diversity’s coverage of voter suppression I’ve addressed its targeted impact of the voting blocs known as the “Obama Coalition.” However, I’ve mainly stressed its disproportionate impact on Black Voters. Importantly, Nichol gives great focus to the disproportionate impact that the Act has on younger voters, many of which are covered by the 26th Amendment of the US Constitution. That amendment reduced the legal voting age from 21 years of age to 18. He gives specific examples of how the Voter Suppression Act of 2013, suppresses access to the ballot by young voters. Again, young voters were a key voting bloc that helped to elect America’s first Black President.
I continue to remind you that when discussing voter suppression please be careful to point out that voter ID is only the better known aspect of the Act. And, as noted above, there are many other equally important changes to the North Carolina voting laws that make voting harder. This is a messaging issue that helps people understand the broader sweep of the Act. The message of the advocates tries to convince the public that voter suppression is all about voter ID and that voter ID is necessary to prevent voter fraud. As noted herein, voter suppression is about much more than voter ID and when addressing voter fraud always stress the fact that after millions of votes around the country, over the last 8-10 years virtually no evidence of voter fraud has been discovered. The real fraud is the fictitious rationale that underpins the Voter Suppression Act of 2013 itself.
On July 10, I wrote about the startup of voter mobilization for November. There are mobilization efforts going on by both partisan and non-partisan (non-profit) voter participation groups. To that end I’ve listed two major non-partisan organizations in North Carolina that I suggest working with moving toward November as the NC NAACP and Democracy NC. There are many other groups and efforts involved in mobilization and therefore we have many more choices for getting involved. Our only objective is to ensure that those that recognize the benefits of voting know how to get involved in protecting our right to vote.
I’ve posted the Nichol article on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/votersuppression. Hopefully you’ll post commentary and share our postings with your “friends.”
Lastly, two weeks ago we began our coverage on November mobilization outreach and the numerous ways to volunteer in our electoral process. Every day I receive emails and read articles about efforts by candidates, parties and interest groups to get people committed and voting on Election Day. The undisputed consensus is that the groups most successful in turning out their voters will win. There is another undisputed truth: Historically Black Voters don’t turn out in mid-term elections, as this one is.
This leads me to an undisputable conclusion: If Black Voters stay home in November, voter suppression will win and it will be another nail in the coffin of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Arguably, the most important Civil Rights Law of the Civil Rights Movement.
We trust what we do here will help our readers better understand voter suppression and to get involved in a way that they are comfortable so that we can defeat it. Our communities are under constant attack and we need a massive response, lest we return to “the era of poll taxes, segregation and Jim Crow.” Not all of what I write is necessarily exciting or engaging. However, it is educational and I think that it’s important for our ultimate success.
GDN covers news that is vital to unrepresented and underserved communities we need your financial support to help us remain viable.
Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on voter suppression. To join the campaign to defeat voter suppression please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles, and your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com. Also, to promote the campaign to defeat voter suppression, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow the above-referenced recommendations. Additionally, please follow us on Twitter at @yourrighttovote: (https://twitter.com/yourrighttovote)