Why is voter suppression still happening? Simple — we still have racists running our government.
As we go to the polls today, whether through an absentee ballot or physically driving to the polls, we must accept that this is a privilege. I say this because even today, there are American citizens who do not have the luxury of just going to the polls and deciding who they want to represent them.
Months prior to this day, there have been widespread accusations of voter suppression, and when one looks at the national trends of voting laws, it is clear to see that these accusations could be true. These laws are passed because the legislators who pass them want to stay in power and want to prevent anyone from taking that power away. Take Georgia’s governor’s race, for example.
Georgia’s secretary of state, Brian Kemp, and his office are responsible for processing all voter applications. However, about 53,000 voter applications have been stalled.
And what is even more alarming is that 70 percent of those stalled applications are African-American voters.
This is not an isolated incident — states all over the country are passing laws making it harder to vote. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, in the past eight years, 34 states (most with Republican majorities) have passed laws making it harder to register, to get voter IDs and to vote early.
Another example would be in North Dakota, where the legislature recently passed a voting law to “prevent voter fraud.”
However, this poses a threat to thousands of Native Americans living on reservations, many of whom use post office addresses instead of home addresses and have had to change these addresses on their official IDs to even be eligible to vote.
If you factor in who these laws target, which are mostly minority, low-income, or working-class citizens, and then factor in that these voters are mostly Democrats, it is easy to see the sinister purpose behind these laws. There are racists making our laws, and if this statement sounds wrong to some, then those people do not know their own privilege.
Today’s elections will test America to see if we can rise above the hatred present in so much of the national conversation. If those who go vote today read this, congratulations.
You are helping change this country for the better. But also realize there are citizens across the nation and even fellow students who want to help make our country a better place, but cannot because they do not have that luxury.
So, vote to make voting easier. Vote to make this constitutional right available to everyone, no matter their own personal circumstances.