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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/27/20

Because We Don't Have a Right to Vote...

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In America, the country that is supposed to be the world's premier democratic republic, citizens do not have an absolute right to vote.

Because we don't have a right to vote, red-state governors can radically cut back on the number of polling places and voting machines so that working-class people are forced to stand in line for five, six, in some cases 10 hours to vote.

Because we don't have a right to vote, about 30 million registered voters nationwide have been removed from the voting rolls since 2014, so when they show up to vote they are given "provisional ballots" that, in red states, are almost never counted unless there is a lawsuit.

Because we don't have a right to vote, back in the 1960s William Rehnquist helped organize "Operation Eagle Eye" in Arizona to pull together a volunteer army of large and often uninformed white men to challenge Black, Hispanic, and Native American voters at the polls. It was so successful it kicked off Rehnquist's Republican political career, taking him all the way to chief justice of the US Supreme Court, and is now being emulated by the Trump campaign.

Because we don't have a right to vote, Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has been able to prevent almost a million Florida citizens from voting if they owe fines or fees to the government.

Because we don't have a right to vote, Louis DeJoy can destroy the US Post Office and slow down the mail just in time for the election and not face any legal consequences.

Because we don't have a right to vote, in 2000 then-Florida Governor Jeb Bush was able to take a felon list from then-Texas governor George W. Bush and compare it to the Florida voter list, throwing about 90,000 African-Americans off the voting rolls because they had "similar" names just before the election that his brother "won" in Florida by 537 votes.

Because we don't have a right to vote, voter intimidation has been documented over the past week in Nevada city, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Miami, Florida; Fort Morgan, Colorado; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Los Angeles -- and its a virtual certainty that nobody will go to jail.

Because we don't have a right to vote, the Supreme Court told the Republican governor of Ohio -- and now all governors -- that he could remove millions of registered voters from the rolls because they hadn't voted in the previous election and didn't mail back a postcard.

Because we don't have a right to vote, red state legislators have been able to force through laws requiring citizens to jump through extraordinary hoops like getting IDs they normally wouldn't need or use, just to vote.

Because we don't have a right to vote, Republicans in multiple states have used the courts to make it extremely difficult to vote by mail or drop off your ballot at a convenient drop-box during a pandemic.

Because we don't have a right to vote, Republicans are rushing Amy Coney Barrett's appointment to the Supreme Court through the Senate so she can be part of a repeat of the 2000 Supreme Court lawsuit, which she, John Roberts, and Brett Kavanaugh all worked on, that stopped the vote count and handed the presidency to George W. Bush.

Republicans can't win elections on their "ideas" of tax cuts for billionaires and eliminating protective regulations on polluting corporations.

People don't agree with them that Medicare should be privatized, Social Security shut down, and Obamacare destroyed.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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