Voting Rights are the End Game
I have heard the quote that “liberals play checkers and conservatives play chess.” I agree with this notion. It’s not hard to see based on the outcome of the 2016 elections and the disproportionate representation of low population interior states in the house and senate versus the highly populated coastal cities and towns. Even more recently, there were a few key races lost within the margin of estimated suppressed voters that could have really shifted the balance of power. I think progressives and liberals are completely unfocused when you look at the inter-party political battles being played out and agendas being pushed.
Conservatives will circle the wagons when it comes to guns, taxes and abortion; whether it works against their own self-interest or highlights some glaring nuances in their ideology. I think it’s time for non-conservatives to rally around a single goal that is likely to be the political end game. Voting Rights. We should shelve identity politics, social reforms, environmental debates, and all other feel good topics until we achieve a system of fully enforced and uniform voting rights. What does that mean?
- Federally defined voter registration standards.
- Federally defined voting ID requirements.
- Federally enforced early voting access.
A change so sweeping will have to come from the passage of a new voting rights bill. A hard battle but one that has to be prioritized. Why is this so important, for the very reason that Republicans have worked so hard to suppress the vote. They know that they cannot win on ideas, policies or population trends. So they have to steal power. See Brian Kemp in Georgia who beat Stacey Abrams within the margin of the voters he suppressed using the “Exact Match” criteria alone. Or Wisconsin, North Carolina, and many other states doubling down on keeping minorities out of the voting booth. These are not just whimsical or anecdotal examples. The “Election Law Journal” published a study “Cost of Voting in the American States.” The study shows that the most difficult states to vote in are Republican Controlled with large black populations. Coincidentally, Republican controlled states with very small black populations, like Utah, had very easy voting policies.
Well then, why should clearly focus on taking their most important political tool off the board and then re-introduce the rest of the agenda. We know that the Supreme Court and Conservative Legislators will do nothing for, if not work against protecting voting rights. The effort then falls on all of us to solve and overcome all the obstacles they put forward. I believe that technology can help to level the playing field to some degree. It has already made donating to campaigns easier than ever before. The Democrats raised more money than the GOP by far using the broad net and small donation strategy. We need to use tech to make the following three things easier.
- Register To Vote
- Expose Voter Suppression
- Cast Ballots with a Supporting Paper Trail
To summarize, if voting didn’t matter, the GOP wouldn’t be people working so hard to keep you from doing so. Especially, at the State and Local levels where the voting rules, laws and policies that everyday Americans live by are written. So, vote, if only to protect your right.