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Voter Suppression: Is it partisan?

Written by Peter Grear on 13 June 2014.

Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I’ve been doing commentaries on our Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression since November, 2013.  Because the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy, I’ve tried to promote a non-partisan theory of voter enfranchisement.  The right to vote is essential to the existence of the United States as a free and open society and shouldn’t be viewed in a partisan prism.  The right to vote should be an issue of citizenship, not partisanship.  Unfortunately, voter suppression appears to be a partisan pursuit.    To provide a balanced presentation of world-wide voter suppression, since about September 2013, I’ve been subscribing to Google Alerts,” voter suppression”, a free service.  Several times each week, I receive alerts from Google to stories that address voter suppression.  Google Alerts aren’t compiled with partisan considerations but selected because they relate to the right to vote.  Some of my commentaries are included in Google Alerts.  

Internationally, Google Alerts carried stories from Great Britain, Israel and Canada.  Invariably and unfortunately, their voter suppression articles attribute voter suppression efforts to the Koch Brothers and right-wing Republican Legislatures.  Domestically, the attributions are the same, which is that Republicans are committed to voter suppression and gerrymandering as their blueprint for winning elections.

Recently, Dan Russo of the Roanoke Times wrote that nationally, the right-wing Republicans are running their 2014 campaigns on the tactics of voter suppression and gerrymandering. (See link #1 below).  Russo addressed various political points in his commentary but two are quite germane to our discussion herein.  He contends and of course I agree, that “the tactics of voter suppression can be overwhelmed by a massive turnout of unimpeachable Democratic voters.”  Note that he says “tactics.”  In earlier commentaries I’ve written about Battling a “Hydra” and referred readers to Wikipedia to educate them on the many iterations of voter suppression.  

 It is important to constantly remind ourselves that voter suppression is about much, much more than voter ID.

Russo suggests that for the Democrats to get a massive turnout, they should make explicit what has been implicit.  As I read him, he’s suggesting that they hold Republicans accountable for the financial collapse of 2008, denying climate change, opposing the Obamacare, tax cuts for the rich and tax hikes for the poor and middle classes.  I agree with his conclusions about responsibility for these issues but am dubious about them leading to the massive turnout that I agree we need.

This is a mid-term election year and it is anticipated that Democrats will have a low voter turnout as they have historically had during mid-term elections.  However, to low information voters the turnout issues that Russo discusses will probably amount to no more than “background noise” going into November.  For Black voters, unfortunately we’re a bit different in certain respects; we need an emotional issue to stir us up enough to vote.  Might I suggest that defeating voter suppression is that issue and is the most important Civil Rights issue we’ve faced in the last 50 years?  It is past time for those of us that were blessed with opportunities because of the Civil Rights Movement, to fight to make sure that our communities and our children not have the clock turned back on them because of our complacency.

 

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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)