From all I can tell, there is going to be a massive effort by Republican state legislators to change the results of this upcoming election. They are going to do this by Voter ID laws; ending early voting in some states; and other laws meant to suppress the vote. It could even affect the general election for president. Yet even if it does not overturn the general election for president, it very well could change the results in many local and state races, thereby changing the makeup in our congress and in state offices.
What happens if their efforts are successful? What if our democracy suddenly fails us because of a desperate political party's need to win an election, at all cost?
It is in my opinion that these efforts are not because of some voter-impersonation problem but an effort to suppress votes of likely Democratic-leaning minorities, such as the poor and college students, though it will also affect the elderly, which tend to vote Republican. It is a well-established fact that there is no serious problem with voter-impersonation from past elections, so why are these voter suppression efforts going through?
Where a real problem exists is the voter suppression that Republican lawmakers are participating in by creating these laws when there was no problem that existed before. They have decided to pursue these laws, insisting that all voters provide a valid form of identification (state ID in most cases), not because there is a problem but because they want to win this election in November. It does not matter to them that they show not even a tiny slither of integrity or respect for everyone's right to vote.
At this stage of the presidential campaign, President Barack Obama has perhaps a 5-point approval rating over his opponent, the Republican candidate Mitt Romney, in most polls. I do not know if Obama will maintain that lead but I do think Obama will do well with the presidential debates coming up and that lead may widen. Still, it's the swing states that matter and some of those swing states, such as Ohio and Florida, have had Republican state officeholders pushing some of the voter suppression efforts that's been going on across the country.
Let us not forget Election 2000 where Al Gore won the majority but George W. Bush won Florida by decree of the U.S. Supreme Court and thereby the presidency. There were things going on at that particular time that to me seemed rather suspicious, such as over 3400 missing ballots from a likely Democratic voting district for one thing. I will not even go into the butterfly ballot issue that was one of the major problems in that election, which caused a substantial amount of votes to be cast mistakenly for Pat Buchanan, a third-party candidate on the ballot.
Likely many Democratic voters already do, on the average, stand in longer lines than likely Republican voters do. This is because big metropolitan cities overwhelmingly are Democratic strongholds where rural areas and small towns are Republican strongholds. Big cities are the problem areas on voting day when thousands stand in long lines waiting to vote.
The new restrictions on early voting will affect those areas the most because early voting has allowed many of them, especially those who have work schedules on voting day, to cast their ballots early and miss all those lines. Now those lines will be even longer because of those new restrictions. It would seem Republican lawmakers are working to discourage voters from voting, not encouraging them which is the patriotic thing to do, and Republicans are so patriotic.
Just imagine this; the day after the election arrives and Mitt Romney wins the election. Then it is also obvious by the certain states that gave the election to Romney, and by the problems that existed for voters the day before on Election Day, that the election was overturned by the very Voter ID laws and voter suppression laws at the center of the current controversy.
I do know what I would feel like at that very moment of realization, and I can only imagine what it will feel like for tens of millions of Americans like me. I would feel violated and that my very rights had been ripped from me. No other right I hold dearer as it is the foundation of all the other rights I have -- that right to vote. I would also realize it was the day democracy died in America and something else, something with less integrity and honor and fairness had been born.
If half the country feels, an election was overturned by a political party determined to win, the Tea Party Rallies and the Occupy Wall Street camp-ins will seem only like small bands of people to those who will pour out into the streets across this nation in protest of that election. It is the substance of a revolution, though hopefully a peaceful one. Yet, neither anyone nor I have control over that.
It is small and narrow-mindedness that breeds the kind of behavior Republican lawmakers has stooped down to, and hopefully, they will instead lose this election and lose it big. That is the only way they will get the message that their party needs to change, to become more of what the country needs it to be. For democracy and liberty's sake, on Election Day, I hope their suppression effort comes to naught and democracy lives on in spite.
This is a republish from my website: Fidlerten Place