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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/3/14

Republicans Tearing Down America's Democracy With Massive Voter Suppression

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   18 comments
Message Michael Payne


The Republicans have laid down the gauntlet, they have made it clear that they fully intend to regain control of the U.S. Senate in the upcoming November elections; and accordingly, they have launched a massive movement in both GOP-controlled and some swing states to suppress the vote, their key to winning.


Nate Silver, the political statistician, has determined that there is a 60% probability that Republicans will win back the Senate in the fall. What he didn't say, because he is a statistician not a strategist, is that the Republicans intend to accomplish this great achievement by using strategies that are cleverly designed to suppress the votes of minorities; Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans and others.


Republicans know that the secret to winning is to significantly reduce voter turnout; that these minority voters who typically support Democratic candidates by large margins must be kept away from the polls. The fact of the matter is that the Democrats are fully aware of what's the GOP is doing but they seem to be largely caught up in a state of political paralysis instead of working tirelessly to counter this insidious Republican plan.


One simple, but yet very meaningful, definition of democracy is: "a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting." You would think that in this democracy we would be seeing political parties working to increase the number of people voting. Not in the American of today in which we see the GOP doing exactly the opposite. What they are doing is severely weakening this democracy, not strengthening it. And what this should tell the American people is that Republicans have now become enemies of our democracy.


These voter suppression tactics are being aggressively pursued in the 20 GOP-controlled states and key swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. The tactics include strict state government-issued photo ID's, reduced early voting days, elimination of same-day voter registration, less weekend voting, restrictions on absentee ballots, and reduced numbers of polling locations. And to top it off voters in some states will need proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or, if you can believe it, a passport.


This treacherous political entity's main objective is to find ways to make it so difficult to vote that masses of voters will give up in anger and frustration. This insidious plan and strategy comes straight out of the political playbook of Lee Atwater, the brilliant, but very devious GOP strategist of the early 1980's, who determined that Republican's chances of winning elections depended entirely on their ability to restrict the votes of America's minorities.


So while the GOP is accelerating this voter suppression process, what exactly are the Democrats doing to counter this blatant attack on America's democracy? Well, their initial reaction to Silver's conclusions has been to completely dismiss them as lacking substance and depth. But with the knowledge that this suppression technique is being advanced in so many states, these projections should sound the alarms and mobilize Democrats to fight back with all their might and resources to stop this process in its tracks.


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