“Voter suppression” is a term Democrats use to show how Republicans want to scale back the wide openness of the 2020 election, sometimes referencing elections going back to the times of segregation, Jim Crow, poll taxes, and literacy tests.
In some Southern states, the white racists working the polls asked “Jeopardy” questions of Black people just to enter the voting area. If you didn’t know the capitol of Borneo, or the exact population of Birmingham, you couldn’t vote. Maybe 20 bucks could see you through, but there’s no denying voter suppression was an ugly part of our history.
Is it still?
Those baptized in the Civil Rights Movement use “voting rights” as a cornerstone of their creed. Black people marched, fought, and died to be able to get jobs, integrate schools and vote. In the spirit of the Movement, millions of white people were on board with them. And still are. But skepticism remains.
HR 1, the For The People Act, sounds like a plea for more rights. The question rises, “What rights?”
The Constitution doesn’t guarantee voting by mail. But during the pandemic states made new “rights” to get through an election. Thus, “absentee” voting evolved into the much more convenient “mail-in ballot.” Drop boxes grew out of thin air for remote voting. Imagine the possibilities of helping to fill out ballots of the infirm, the apathetic or the ill-informed and plopping them into the abyss.
Time Magazine’s article, “How We Saved The Election of 2020,” revealed the tons of dollars that people like Mark Zuckerberg, Planned Parenthood, and “woke” corporations threw to Democrat election officials to recruit “dedicated” poll workers and watchers. In the interest of time, local poll workers were told to “cure” ballots not filled out properly. Deciding if a ballot was counted depended on a wobbly signature or obscure addresses. Or not. To err in favor of the party that signed “worker and watcher” paychecks can’t be discounted, especially in Democratic-heavy inner cities.
Stacey Abrams, A leading voice for HR1, has questioned the legitimacy of past elections, mostly because of her losing the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018. She “seeks voting rights action,” which would harken back to the days of literacy tests in the South.
Fortunately, we can all read now and what we see some folks calling “rights” might be just a teensy-tainted with politics. She and her fellow Democrats want a national standard, meaning the feds determining your local voting procedures rather than your state and county. The Constitution specifically allots the liberty of voting to the legislatures, not the governors who dictated pandemic changes, or state courts who expanded early and even late voting.
Gone are the days of the Obama years, when you actually had to get yourself down to the polls. Now those mean Republicans want a picture ID, too. Does that really harken back to the days of segregated water fountains or what? People need picture IDs for government assistance checks, to fly on a plane, cash a check, or buy a pair of shoes.
This bill is a slippery slope. Foreigners are already voting in San Francisco and New York City.
HR1 enhances mail-in balloting — no stodgy signature requirements, votes counted after Election Day, weeks of early voting. The Democrats would also validate the unlimited use of drop boxes, so you’d never have to appear in front of your COVID-contagious neighbors in a line.
Now Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants you to “apply” for mail-in ballots every year, supplying driver’s license numbers of the “last fours” of your Social Security number. That’s too much “in my business.” Didn’t DeSantis say we just had a “perfect election”? Then why would he want increased security with more ID info, less early voting, and more election officers? He wants to kill mosquitos with a baseball bat.
But HR1 demands more than rights. It seeks power. It wants automatic registration for 16-year-olds, same-day registration, easier paths ultimately for foreigners to vote, and if you don’t think there are any politics oozing from the Democratic Party, HR1 calls for a 10-year tax reveal for any president or vice president.
“Suppression” is code for “bad Republicans,” while the pandemic created a wild west for elections. “Security” still guarantees all American citizens a vote. Use polls near or far. Even vote early. Just don’t vote often.
P. Norman Grant lives in Vero Beach.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Election bills voter suppression, security or politics? | Opinion