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Voter suppression

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Voter suppression

The voter suppression refers to a strategy a state may apply to influence the main outcome of any election realized by discouraging or also preventing people from voting fairly and freely since it is their right. It is normally applied by politicians in attempts to reduce the numbers of votes that an opposing candidate may get. The peoples right to vote has been under attack in many parts of the United States of America. Most of the Conservative legislators are undoubtedly introducing and fighting for passage of some legislation that are out to create many barriers for those planning and registering to vote. These include shortening the normal, early voting period, which is favorable for those employed, imposing extremely new requirements for many already-registered voters and rigging the Electoral Colleges in many selected states. This is evident among conservatives who fabricate reasons supporting the enactment of those laws. Their main aim in these efforts is to disenfranchise many potential voters that exist among various groups, mainly composed of the college students, minorities and also the low-income voters. Rather than ensuring modernization of the US democracy in an attempt to make sure that every citizen has access to the famous ballot box, these leaders are out to implement laws that hinder voting rights, a case that was last experienced during the era of renowned Jim Crow laws which were enacted in the South in a bid to clearly disenfranchise mostly blacks after Reconstruction evident in the late 1800s (Greenhouse 1).

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It is worth noting that the past years were better to live in and enjoy ones voting rights. The constitutional articles, especially the 14th, 15th, 19th, 23rd and 26th articles have notably improved the voting process and also expanded the existing pool of Americans who are eligible to participate in voting. This was not to last as in 2011, a new issue cropped up. Over 30 state legislatures decided to consider legislation of various policies in a bid to make it extremely hard for citizens to cast their votes. It was a massive blow to democracy as more than a dozen of all those states succeeded in passing the bills they recommended. Anti-voting legislation that people fight for appears to be unabated up to now.

Registration restrictions

It is notable in some states that legislators are not only making voting a nightmare for many, but also the initial registration of voters is becoming a hurdle to citizens. Lawmakers in more than half a dozen of key states went ahead to make several changes to the main registration process as was evident in 2011. Affected areas included time that citizens could register, restrictions on those permitted to help them, and implementation of tougher bureaucratic requirements before one could register. This is a hindrance to free and fair elections that many nations advocate for.

The tag of war between legislators has been so controversial in the Maine State. Mainers have had no issue with registration which they did at the ballot, since the year 1973. The amicable environment of voting had started to vanish. The system of two queues that was usually evident during voting day in order to ease congestion was on the verge of being abolished. However, the voices of people had to be heard in November of 2011, when more than 60 percent of Mainers publicly rebuked the set legislature and went on to vote in a bid to restore the Election Day registration that was evident in their state. This did not go well with voters in other states that entertained voter suppression. In states of Florida and Texas, lawmakers were lucky to succeed in placing extremely onerous restrictions on many nonprofit organizations that were out to help register many new voters. The League of Women Voters has been known to help the voters register easily and at a faster rate. This has always been done regardless of ones political affiliation, in a democratic way.

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Tennessee, Kansas and Alabama decided to take a different route by recommending that documentation was vital and necessary for one to register as a voter. These states passed laws that required all residents to clearly prove that they were the US citizens by presenting their birth certificate or passport. Very few Americans own passports. Those who lack access to the birth certificate may be asked to deep into their pockets in order to acquire one, which comes out as a violation of the US 24th Amendment ban on all poll taxes.

Voter ID laws

There has been wrong notion about African Americans in the US. It is saddening to realize that a respected and honored member of Georgias voter ID legislation, who is its Chief sponsor, clearly stated how the bill on Voter ID laws would bar African Americans from exercising fraud during voting by locking most of them out of voting. I think this is extremely discriminatory (Greenhouse 1).

States that have so far passed the Voter ID laws include Tennessee, Alabama, Kansas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin. There are twenty four other states that have proposed these laws, which require that people must produce government-issued photo IDs during the polls. These laws could have negative impacts on many Americans, over 21 million, who lack those photo IDs. They have the enormous potential to significantly exclude many Americans from voting, notably seniors, rural dwellers, students and minorities. Those seconding these laws claim that they are out in a bid to prevent voter fraud. They have no base for these allegations as America has never had such things as voter fraud in all its election periods. Why should they work out bills to suppress voters at this time?

The only voter fraud that they should be out to prevent is that one voter would be going out to impersonate another (Greenhouse 1).

Residency restrictions

This is another avenue being applied by conservatives in a bid to limit voting rights of Citizens. Those targeted are the college out-of-state students who will not be allowed to vote in those areas where they are attending school. It is particularly common in Maine, whereby in September 2011 the famous Maines secretary of state decided to send a threatening letter to many college students who had legally registered as voters in that state, insinuating that most of them were doing that against the law (Greenhouse 1).

Limiting early voting

Early voting has helped many people to avoid long queues that are characteristic of any voting date. It is necessary to allow those interested to vote prior to the election date. This notion has been hit in some states, such as Florida, where limits have been implemented. This will pose harm to those who are occupied and may not be in a position to wait in those long voting queues.

Voter suppression is now exceedingly common in the US. In many other states these laws will eventually become the main ballot measures and their outcome can be decided only by voters. The passage of the laws that are geared towards voter suppression in many ways must be extremely aggressively challenged by use of legal and also electoral measures. This process will necessitate the revival of American voting system and put it back on its usual right track.

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