Today we are witnessing across this country intolerable wait times at urban voting centers; voter suppression and intimidation; systemic problems with voting machines; missing paper ballots; legitimate votes being categorized as provisional.
All of these occurrences are a stark reminder that Mitt Romney's only path to electoral victory is via one avenue: theft.
For intentional, GOP-led obstacles to voting are – as anticipated – widespread today. Mother Jones reports:
People all over the country are having trouble exercising their right to vote, the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights said Tuesday morning.The long lines being seen today in minority communities, in which people are being forced wait longer than first-time voters in war-torn Baghdad, are of course by design. As the NAACP reported recently, voters in some Florida black communities are being forced to wait up to five hours due to insufficient locations, staffing and voting machines:
"We are seeing a manifestation of a new Jim Crow in America...I don't think that's an overstatement," said Wade Henderson, who runs the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (a different group from the Lawyer's Committee). "You are seeing lines longer than those in Baghdad or Kabul."
And there are many more who are having to wait longer, upwards of eight hours to vote, all in an attempt to suppress voter turnout.
On the ground reports from our organizers: Some of the precincts in the FL Black Community are now 4 to 5 hours long. This is not acceptable— The NAACP (@NAACP) November 6, 2012
Add such problems to the following, and you get a full picture of the GOP's central strategic plan today: kill democracy.
- PA voters are being turned away by poll workers for not having an I.D., contrary to the law.
- In Dayton, Toledo and Cleveland, voting machines are inoperative, causing major voting delays.
- In Cincinnati, reports of voters being told to fill out provisional ballots rather than be told where their correct polling location is.
- Florida voters are receiving robocalls that they are to vote on Wednesday.
- The Lawyer Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has reported almost 26,000 claims of voter suppression on its hotline:
1-866-OUR-VOTE has received more than 40K calls since August; 26K+ by 10am today. Please continue to call or report issues using #OVLReport— Election Protection (@866OURVOTE) November 6, 2012
- The list goes on and on, and will continue to grow as the day wears on. For the Republican strategy of theft is revealing itself in its myriad tactical ways.
For now, vigilance is our only answer. (To report suppression, you can call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or 1-888-271-8596 – just two numbers of many that exist to protect disenfranchised voters).
For the future, our answer must be to change systematically how we conduct our elections. Perhaps election day should be a national holiday. Perhaps every state should adopt 100% mail-in availability. Perhaps high-population centers should – shocker – be outfitted with proportional voting locations and equipment.
For now, we battle. For the future, we must change the game.