Voter suppression and political corruption is nothing new on a global level. The list and ways in which people have been denied the right to vote or have been intimidated and even killed throughout the history of the world to modern day for attempting, are long and numerous even in the US.
This year, the attempts to stop voters from exercising their right to cast a ballot, especially those in minority communities and those of opposing parties, have been vast and numerous. It's odd right, because the complaint has always been that voter turn out is abysmal. We are all told this practically every election---no one votes and now that people are fired up to vote on both sides of the political aisle, all of a sudden, the attempts to foil this have been more on the extreme side.
First, can we please acknowledge the giant elephant in the room in that this year has been INSANE! Corona screwed us all, and it has especially made people fearful to vote in long lines, all touching the same machines. I for one have a pre-existing condition, and have had to take endless precautions pre-vote to ensure that I and my family are as safe as possible. I thought surely this year, this glaring fact would allow me and many others in the same boat to be able to vote by mail. DENIED!
I'm going to specifically talk about my state as different states allow different ways to vote and have different issues going into this election.
1. One location
Voting by mail has never been an issue. My parents and when they were living, my grandparents did it all the time. Never were they told it was a corrupt system UNTIL this election. Of course there have been a FEW cases of voter fraud by mail (we're talking0.056 cases) but according to politicians in my area, the problem is about 100% and therefore, for an area about the size of Rhode Island, for those fearful of dropping off their mail in ballots at the post office, the sick an disabled and elderly have to in some cases drive an hour plus, if they can drive at all or have access to a car, to personally drop off their mail-in ballot at ONE location because the governor claims that having even more than one location would invite voter fraud. In previous years there have been about 15 drop off locations. A judge tried to block this order, but was swiftly overturned.
2. The Post Office Debacle
Just a few shorts months before the election, given corona outbreaks in many areas, a lot of people planned to vote by mail for the first time this year, but the head of the post office decided, let's cut over time hours for postal employees, let's remove drop off boxes claiming that this was done over budget concerns. Buddy, budgets are figured out at the end of the fiscal year, aka, in 2019, and if this were such a huge rampant problem that was overwhelming the system, a few months shy of an election where people need to post office more than ever, not to mention LITERALLY everyone is shipping everything these days AND the holidays are coming was never going to be the right time to slash these things. We all know this was politically motivated and the biggest crock of BS as about a month later, overtime was restored because this little act denied a lot of people like myself and the elderly things like life saving medication that is delivered by mail and it helped slow down my business for an entire month with packages just sitting at the post office because no one could work.
3. Need ID
"This is one fight that has been raging for years. In July 2016, a federal appeals court found that a 2011 Texas voter ID law discriminated against black and Hispanic voters because only a few types of ID were allowed; for example, military IDs and concealed carry permits were allowed, but state employee photo IDs and university photo IDs were not. In August 2017, an updated version of the same Texas voter ID law was found unconstitutional in federal district court; the district judge indicated that one potential remedy for the discrimination would be to order Texas election-related laws to be pre-cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The court also ruled that the law would force some voters to spend money traveling to a government office to update their identification information; the court compared this provision to a poll tax. During the 21st century, several states with Republican-controlled governments passed restrictive voter ID laws affecting identification cards for college students (a liberal-leaning demographic group)."
4. Attempts to shut down the Drive through already
The one reprieve our state has had, has been drive through voting. Since most of us are not legally permitted in our state to vote by mail (you must be 65+, be sick, disabled, out of the county on election day, or in jail but eligible to vote), this was our out. We could safely stay in our cars, go through a drive through set-up where we'd be handed handheld versions of the voter booth electronic vote casters, and then off we pop. No sooner had this started yesterday and the numbers of voters the highest on record EVER, then did the GOP sue to claim that drive through voting is somehow illegal because "curbside voting" was only meant to be legal for those who were sick and disabled.
If we must show ID, we must vote in person, and Corona virus is still a thing, we are voting. Ninety percent of my friends and family have all voted this way day one of early voting because it was the safest and frankly most convenient way to vote this year, and instead of PRAISING this fact that people in both parties got off their butts and went out and voted, politicians are doing everything in their power to try and keep people out of the polls despite Corona, despite the fact that both parties have elderly, sick, and disabled, despite that people rely on the post office more than ever the latter half of the year and especially during these Corona times, despite all odds because they want their candidate to win and he has made no bones about pressuring anybody in his party to do what he wants for political gain and they don't speak up.
If you think this is a shining example of what democracy should look like, you need to really examine your RIGHT TO VOTE in this country because this is not what democracy looks like. We want to claim America doesn't have these issues as compared to other countries, but here we are and there is NOTHING better that you can do when those that are supposed to serve the American people or democracy itself, are no longer doing that, and that is to VOTE!