And more disenfranchisement

Emily Bazelon also hits the issue.  I expect to see lines like this in a third-world country, not my former home of Columbus, OH:


People wait in line for early voting in the parking lot of the Northland Park Center on Nov. 4, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio

Photograph by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

And, I realized the Cohen piece deserves more extensive excerpting.  This is absolutely no way to run an election in a democracy.  Especially one that likes to hold itself up as an example.  Anybody involved in an electoral process where people have to wait hours and hours to vote should be out of a job and be deeply ashamed.  And any one who supports such shenanigans as a way to help their side win is deeply un-American in the truest sense.  Anyway, more Cohen:

There is no hidden agenda here. The strategy and tactics are as far out in the open as those voters standing in line for hours waiting for their turn to vote. This transparency — of motive and of evidence — is also what distinguishes the complaints that Democrats have about Republican tricks on voting from Republican complaints about Democratic tricks on voting. Widespread “in-person” voter fraud or voting by illegal immigrants exists mostly in the minds of conspiracy theorists. Yet proof of voter suppression is visible to all of us with the naked eye. All we have to do is look. There is no political equivalence here — only more lamentable false equivalence.

Indeed, we are all complicit in a regime which forces our fellow citizens to endure those long lines. We are all to blame for allowing men like Jon Husted to determine which Ohioans will have their ballots counted and which will not. We who have the luxury of voting early by mail or who can pop into a polling station on Election Day, who are accustomed to not standing long for anything — we do nothing about these voter lines even though they are the most visible proof today that America is still terribly divided by race and by class.

In America in 2012, poor people and elderly people and students should not have to wait seven hours to vote. They should not be restricted in this fashion by elected officials who justify the hardships they impart upon black voters by calling those voters “lazy.” By allowing this ugliness to endure, year after year, election after election, we don’t just subvert our own democracy. We preclude ourselves from turning to the world and proclaiming that we respect the value of a single vote and the dignity of a single voter. We don’t practice what we preach.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to And more disenfranchisement

  1. Mike from Canada says:

    When you turn your opponent into a monster that hates America, then anything you do to defeat him is fair game. Even destroying the very system they say they are trying to “save”.

    The hypocrisy of the Republicans is unprecedented.

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