Can they really control our voting?
We have made it overseas. A quick google on voter suppression pulled a BBC article (https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54240651) on why it can be hard to vote in the US. Impressive right?
This has little to do with what I have to say beyond demonstrating the reach, and level of atrocity facing the US populous during the 2020 election. I have a few issues I would like to bring to the forefront.
Let me start with what I feel is the biggest issue. Unfortunately, it is not specific to this election, but our current social climate has brought it to the forefront. To this day, in most states, felons lose their right to vote while incarcerated, and in some states felons can lose their voting rights indefinitely for certain crimes. So, basically the people we lock up for being deviant, or criminal in some form, are most likely not voting in this election. That population we lock up is disproportionately people of color. Our criminal justice system is skewed, and fundamentally messed up, stuck in a time long passed. So why is it allowed to have implications on the way our political system runs? In the states where former convicts, those who have been released, are still unable to vote for any reason we are saying that you are welcome to the repercussions of others voting, but you yourself are not allowed to vote. Didn’t we have issues with that before the revolutionary war? And plenty of times since? Shouldn’t the voting rights act have fixed this? Apparently we either do not learn from our own history, or the answer to all of those questions is no (pssst… its not that ). Ultimately, DESPITE the voting rights act that was passed in 1965, we still prevent a large proportion of our population from voting.
Second, due to COVID-19 more and more people are opting to vote by mail in this election. Unfortunately, that is being taken advantage of to further suppress voters. Recently, it was noted that “as North Carolina experiences a surge in voting by mail, Republicans have gone to court to make it easier to reject mailed ballots on technicalities” (https://time.com/5902729/black-voter-suppression-2020/). These technicalities are disproportionately targeting black voters yet again. “Already, election officials have contested some 6,800 votes–a number bound to grow as more people vote. The state is about 20% Black; 40% of the contested ballots come from Black voters” (https://time.com/5902729/black-voter-suppression-2020/). Those in power develop what is considered deviant, and what is considered to be a social norm. through voter suppression they are ensuring that they stay in power (LIKE GERYMANDERING DID SO MANY YEARS AGO). The statistics above imply something similar to the effect of gerrymandering. Voter suppression of this sort is stripping the power of those who currently need it most.
All of these instances are based around deviance in some capacity. With criminals having to work harder to ensure they have a vote, and people of color potentially having their vote invalidated at a higher rate than whites, it is hard to miss that this election is skewed to keep those in power in power. In preventing people from voting, either through legal systems, or finding ways to invalidate their ballots, or even making it so that their ballots fail to be received in time (still possible given the status of our postal system) our government is labeling certain populations as deviant. At a minimum, the SAME populations that NEED political and social change are being prevented from exercising their LEGAL right to do so through voting. Where does that leave everyone else?