Our Voting Rights Are Under Attack

Our leaders are elected to protect and preserve our rights and freedoms, but some are working to take them away. We must fight head on and get rid of the ones who are working to undermine the fundamental rights of Americans.

One major problem is that people’s right to vote is being taken away. State officials across the country are purging voters from the voter rolls based on inactivity or even just a punctuation/name error. This practice has resulted in citizens showing up to the polls to vote and finding out their name has been purged.  This has mostly occurred in minority areas to suppress the vote.

In the 2018 midterm elections in Georgia, 53,000 voters were purged from the voter rolls and 70% of the voters put on hold were African-American. This is a serious problem causing our rights to be violated and enabling corrupt politicians to stay in office.

We also need to address the Industrial Age voting processes we use. It is easier in the state of Alabama to buy a pistol than it is to vote. We should allow voting to be practiced in an easier, more efficient way where it does not require a person to stand in line for hours just to cast a ballot. Voting is one of the guaranteed rights under the Constitution and it takes hours just to fulfill it.

There should also be an easier process to get to the polls, especially for working Americans, whereby allowing all voters to vote over mail, extending early voting, and creating public transportation options to get voters to the polls. Many voting machines do not work; many voting machines overheat and leaving polling stations with just a few working machines. In Georgia in 2018, state officials locked thousands of voting machines in warehouses to keep people from using them to vote. This should be illegal. The right to vote is fundamental and it is being violated.

Voter suppression is occurring across the country. Voter suppression is the practice of enacting new rules that make it harder to vote. In numerous states across the country, state officials have closed polling places in majority minority areas in order to suppress the vote, have enacted voter ID laws to make it harder to vote if you do not carry around an ID with you at all times, as well as ending Sunday voting.  In Arizona, state officials in Phoenix closed so many polling places in a majority Latino area, there was only one polling place for 100,000 voters. Since 2012, 14 states have enacted voter ID laws to make it harder to vote in their respective states in order to curb “voter fraud.” These officials use the excuse of voter fraud to make it harder for minorities to vote as well as members of the opposite party.

Every single voter restriction law to date since the reversal of the protections of the Voting Rights Act in 2012, has been put in place by Republicans. In 2012, the state of Alabama sued to end the provisions of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder that required states with previous records of discrimination in voting to recieve federal preclearance before making changes to their voting system. Most of the states, the majority in the South, immediately put in place voting restrictions making it harder to vote. Sunday voting, popular among African American voters, was cancelled as people often went to vote after they attended church.  Early voting was shortened, making it harder to vote for people who have busy schedules on Election Day, which is always held on weekdays. The rights of voters have been attacked and it is much harder to vote than has been in the past.

Voting Rights are being violated and there is a solution that we need to enact right now. Conservatives in the United States are allowing other people’s rights to be violated. The Republican Party has continuously gerrymandered seats in the United States and if they continue, our rights will be gone. We need to get rid of all the so called ”leaders”, Democrat and Republican, who continue to violate our fundamental rights to choose our representatives. There is only one way to solve this problem and that is to elect leaders that will make it easier for citizens to exercise their fundamental rights.

Written by: Austen Wyche / @austen_wyche

Edited by: Isabel Hope / @isabama / @isabamahope

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