In a frightening preview of the voter suppression tactics likely to be used yet again in the November presidential elections, the Georgia primary was marred today by a drastically reduced number of polling places, long lines, and frustrated voters as the combination of social distancing limiting the number of voters allowed in each polling place, the late delivery of voting machines, a shortage of provisional ballots, and inexperienced and untrained poll workers all contributed to hours-long waits for voters in some precincts.
Unsurprisingly, the unacceptable delays seemed not to be a problem in certain districts in the Republican-run state, as Politico‘s national political reporter discovered.
Took @MsLaToshaBrown 3hrs to vote today in GA. Then Brown drove over to predominantly white polling site in Atl suburbs
— Laura Barrón-López (@lbarronlopez) June 9, 2020
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Since the Supreme Court ended supervision of the elections in most Southern states that had previously been under federal scrutiny for their discriminatory practices — with Chief Justice John Roberts citing the disappearance of racism as part of the rationale for letting states run elections on their own — polling places in Democratic-leaning districts have been disappearing, making the act of casting one’s ballot a time-consuming and difficult process in those areas in an insidious form of suppressing the votes of those opposed to the GOP agenda.
With the outpouring of public anger and dismay over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, people have been told to channel their anger towards the ballot box in November if they want to see meaningful change.
However, as basketball legend LeBron James asked on Twitter today, what do you do when the very process of voting is tainted by structural racism in the very mechanics of the voting process and the political machinations of those in charge of supervising the elections?
Everyone talking about “how do we fix this?” They say “go out and vote?” What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist? https://t.co/GFtq12eKKt
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 9, 2020
It’s a good question to which few have ventured to try to answer.
After today’s debacle in Georgia, however, BLM protestors and their allies have a new issue that they need to take to the streets to demand change to rectify.
The allocation of ballots, voting machines, poll workers, and the other things needed to ensure a smoothly run and fair election must be provided equally to all neighborhoods, not just reliably Republican areas.
If the Georgia Secretary of State is allowed to get off scot-free after the chaotic disaster of today’s primary election, you may as well abandon the chances of a fair election in November right now.
Unless the move to hand-marked paper ballots with universal access to mail-in voting is made mandatory for the presidential race, doubts about the results of the election will linger and be exploited by whoever loses any of the races taking place.
We all know that Donald Trump will reject the validity of any election that he loses, but let’s not give him more ammunition than he needs.
The facts are that voter suppression and other forms of election fraud are a much bigger problem than voter fraud or issues with mail-in ballots and that most of the election fraud that has been discovered has actually been perpetrated by Republican operatives.
With Donald Trump, his White House Press Secretary, and the Minnesota cop who placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck until he was dead all accused of having illegally voted by mail in Florida despite not having a legal residence in the state, it seems that the GOP are the worst offenders when it comes to rigging electoral results.
Let’s not let them get away with it.
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