Fight voter suppression in your state.
While we’re thrilled about the victory of Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s December 12th special Senate election (thanks to black Alabama voters!), it was not all positive headlines coming out of Alabama that day. There were reports of voter suppression, and it’s estimated that as many as 118,000 registered Alabama voters were unable to vote due to restrictive voter ID laws, which disproportionately and negatively impact black and Latino voters (who tend to vote Democrat). However, voter suppression isn’t just an issue in Alabama -- it’s a nationwide issue. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to fight back against voter suppression in your state.
America has a shameful history of voter suppression, and since the 2010 elections, legislative efforts have been ramping up to impose stricter requirements for voting. Voter ID laws are just the tip of the suppression iceberg -- there’s also disinformation, purging of voter rolls, limitations on early voting, gerrymandering, felon disenfranchisement, and myriad other ways to keep voters from the polls.
In the cases when the suppression isn’t politically or racially motivated, these sort of requirements can stem from fears about voter impersonation -- a type of voter fraud that, according the the Brennan Center for Justice, has an incidence of between .0003 and .0025%. In short, it’s less likely to occur than one’s chances of being struck by lightning. Studies, courts, and independent government investigations agree. And, btw, the rumors about black voters being bussed in from other states and of 13 Latino men voting multiple times for the Alabama election? NOT TRUE.
Since the Constitution gives states the right to oversee federal elections, there are things we can do to address these issues, which vary state-by-state. As an individual, you can:
Check this 2017 voting laws roundup from the Brennan Center to find out about voting restrictions and relevant legislation in your state.
Contact your state legislators to oppose restrictive voting requirements, and voice your support for policies that improve voting access and voter education, such as no-fault absentee voting and early voting.
Arm yourself with this number for the 2018 elections: 866-OUR-VOTE. This Election Protection hotline, led by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, will answer voter questions and respond to issues. Be sure to share this number on social media during your state’s primary/runoff elections, as well as the 2018 midterm elections.
Lawyers: If you are a lawyer, you can volunteer with Election Protection to staff their hotline to answer voter questions and respond to issues, or to be a legal field volunteer at targeted poll locations, where you will respond to and monitor voting issues.