Voter Suppression and Social Control
Tensions have been high in the United States since early in 2020 COVID-19 had struck not only the nation, but the world by storm. This tension has continued to escalate as police murdered both George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and there was no justice served. On top of all that there is a Presidential election happening in two weeks. The nation has continued to divide further and further on every level, starting with people on the street to the political parties. It seems like either way this election goes, there is going to be something bad that comes along with it. This divide in the nation has built off a deep hatred of each other that has been a long time coming and seems like it will soon explode with this election.
Voter suppression is “any effort, either legal or illegal, by way of laws, administrative rules, and/or tactics that prevents eligible voters from registering to vote or voting.” Minority groups are the main targets of voter suppression with the benefits being on the side of Republican lawmakers and the corporate donors that fund them. Being black myself, there is one thing I have made sure of this year: to better educate myself on the systemic oppression of black people. I watched the documentary called 13th (if you haven’t seen it, you should definitely watch) and learned about ALEC for the first time. ALEC is an organization composed of politicians and big corporations who write legislation. Researching voter suppression, there was a quote talking about how typically when a party loses an election, they adjust their agenda to try to better represent the will of the people. However, “the Republican party has decided that they would rather hold onto their power by preventing Democratic voters from exercising their right to vote.”
In a nation that has taught us that black people are less than whites and have no real power, politicians and people of higher power sure are scared of us getting that power. Because what they don’t tell us, is that we are powerful beyond measure. If we weren’t, they would not be trying as hard as they are to try to keep us down. It is so deep that people will literally do anything in order for blacks to not be successful. Voter suppression in itself is deviance. For a group, individual or, in this case, the government to deny the right of others their inalienable rights as a citizen is deviant behavior. That deviance can be based on many different false premises but the outcome of creating obstacles to the fundamental right of American citizens is infringed on and therefore unacceptable. Voter suppression can be seen as an attempt at social control, as it is using laws in order to control who can and cannot vote.
In the midst of a pandemic and a Presidential election coming up, the rise of absentee and mail-in voting will be at, probably, a record high. I know that on a lot of platforms (NBA and WNBA especially) there has been a major emphasis on telling people to vote. Raising awareness for those who may not know that they can vote or the steps that need to be taken in order to vote. With that being said, there is a concern about the votes being counted fairly, especially with states having different deadlines for when the mail-in ballots need to be in by. There have been reports of numerous mail-in ballots being thrown out, so the thought of whether or not ballots being transported from place A to place B safely and accurately comes to mind as well. There has been a rise in the rules of how ballots are to be sent back are becoming more and more tedious with the goal in mind that hundreds of votes will not count simply because they did not fit the criteria. These concerns are based on the deviant acts of others to try to control the society.