Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How Democrats Can Fight Voter Suppression

During the 2014 midterm election, liberal donors spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to prop up Democratic candidates.  And what do they have to show for it?

Some of this money would have been better spent on get-out-the-vote efforts instead of endless commercials and robocalls.   Nothing like spending billions of dollars to get your base all fired up, and then they're not even allowed to vote because [consult your local teabagger for popular excuses]

These ALEC/Koch-directed voter suppression schemes are basically a poll tax, regardless of how many euphemisms the corporate-funded “Tea Party” comes up with.  And what should Democratic donors spend some of their money on?  As the linked article says, “pay people's poll taxes.”

It can be expensive to obtain an acceptable photo ID card.  A lot of low-income people don't drive and/or they live far away from the nearest DMV or county administrative office.  (That's why it's a poll tax.)   Other popular don't let them nigras vote tactics include banning same-day voter registration and banning early and extended voting hours.  These voter suppression laws are clearly unconstitutional, but don't expect the Supreme Court to step in.  Money is speech; voting isn't.  Corporations are people; swarthy minorities aren't.

Assuming these Jim Crow laws are still in effect for the next election, Democratic donors should spend whatever it takes to help millions of low-income voters with the cost (and bureaucratic red tape) of obtaining a photo ID card.  Conduct massive voter registration drives.  Send out constant reminders of when the polling booths are open for early and late voting.  Etc.

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Blogger Jerry Critter said...

That seems like common sense, Tom. Republicans were clearly trying to suppress the vote. Why Democrats were not trying to get out the vote instead of just funneling the money to candidates is beyond me.

Unless it was more about money and less about votes!

November 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jerry: I think too many Democrats would rather just point the finger at Republicans and make colorful speeches, instead of getting out there and doing some actual grass-roots work. It's more glamorous to pay for a hard-hitting TV ad than to take part in a mundane voter registration drive.

November 14, 2014 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In other words, the system is already rigged. Conservatives have only made it worse by pushing through Jim Crow Lite policies. Sometimes, if you can't beat them, you have to join them."

Knowing the Conservatives they have been calculating this move for decades and generations. I don't believe the liberals can just play that game and have the conservative courts stand by and do nothing. A better idea would be to match them in court (which could be dragged out for years) or finance more mail in ballot drives or bus transportation to the pols as well as camera's to document the discrimination.
Yes Democrats do better when more people vote but it's not guaranteed. The Republicans can just go for more general appeal (yeah right!)

One Historical Note: Post Reconstruction the Southern States passed laws that said only landowners could vote (The Tea Party would love that). A White person who wanted to vote but wasn't a landowner could then swear to a statement (wink! wink!) that he was a landowner but his land was taken by the Union (Yankees) during the Civil War..no verification required (no questions asked)


November 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: I think it should be an all-of-the-above approach. All the suggestions in the linked article are good, and I like your ideas too. Voter registration drives, bus transportation to the polls, keeping millions of people up to date on the exact hours that early/extended voting is available, paying the cost of obtaining a photo ID, documenting the intimidation and discrimination at the polls -- it all needs to be done. Whatever the cost, it's more cost effective than bombarding the airwaves with millions of TV ads.

November 15, 2014 at 10:06 AM  

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