As you know, in every state where Republicans control the legislature, they are using a wide range of dirty tricks to keep Democrats from voting.* Voter ID cards that are expensive and difficult for poor people to get.
*Relocating polling places, and not telling anyone.
* Reducing the number of polling places in Democratic districts.
* Denying college students the right to vote in districts where their dorms are located.
* Kicking people off registration lists for no reason, and without telling them.
* Eliminating early voting and/or absentee ballots.
* Reducing the number of voting machines, or sabotaging them.
* Using some of these tricks to make lines very long, and then legislating that anyone who is still in line when the polls close can’t vote.
* And on and on and on. There is no end to what their devious little minds can come up with.
I’d like to ask Trailmixers to write about what’s happening in YOUR state.
Although we have a real Tea Party jerk (LePage) as governor, the people of the great state of Maine “tossed out the villains” in the 2012 elections and we now have both houses of the legislature under Democratic control. Thus, there are NO formal voter suppression efforts in Maine, and haven’t been, at least since the 1930s.
Maine’s voters consist of a colorful mix of cranky old Protestant “Yankees,” (who are mostly Republicans) along with the descendants of the French, Irish, and Italian Catholics who came here to work in textile mills and shoe factories in the 19th century (who are mostly Democrats). We also have several tribes of indigenous peoples (Indians), a few Hispanics, and a tiny number of African Americans who are always slightly surprised when they meet another black person. (Maine is the “whitest” state in the nation; only 1.3% of the population is black. We are also the “oldest” state: 17% are over 65, and that will climb to 25% by 2020.)
Except for a few “big cities” like Portland (population 66,000), polling places here look like a Norman Rockwell Painting of “Citizens Exercising their Right to Vote.” Farmers vote in dirty overalls, loggers drive out of the woods in pick-ups with 6-foot chainsaws in the back, lobstermen show up in rubber boots caked in fish guts. They stand in line with bankers and lawyers in suits and they all speculate about how the high school basketball team will do this year.
This is really not a good place to even THINK about voter suppression.
So…what’s happening in YOUR state with voter suppression?
– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor