Voting has already begun in many states, and mail-in ballots have been sent out in most states that allow mail-in voting. The Republican Party has made no bones about the fact that they intend to make voting as hard as possible for most of us who prefer not to clog the polls, putting ourselves and our families at risk for a deadly virus, on November 3rd. Well, it looks like they have started their campaign to keep us from voting …
Voting in Georgia …
Early voting began yesterday in Georgia, and long lines – as much as a ten-hour wait – were reported in some areas.Now, let me ask you … do you notice anything about the people in this line? Look closer … do you see any white faces there? I saw one, possibly two, but the majority appear to be Black voters. This was in Cobb County, a county that has voted Democratic for the last several elections, and the same scenario took place in DeKalb County, a majority Democratic county. In addition, two counties briefly had problems with the electronic pollbooks used to check in voters. The issue halted voting for a while at State Farm Arena, in Atlanta. Voters who cast their ballots at the basketball stadium, which was being used as an early voting site, faced long waits as the glitch was resolved. My suspicious mind wonders if the ‘glitch’ was, perhaps, manufactured?
Think about this one … you have a job, you either work afternoons, or arranged to go in to work later so that you could go vote. Ten hours later, you are finally able to cast your vote, your shift has ended without you, your boss will be fuming tomorrow, your kids haven’t had their supper. How many people left the line and did not vote because they couldn’t afford to miss work, or they had to pick up their children after school? And yes, the majority of them are Black or Hispanic.
Luckily, most of these people were pretty darned determined! Steve Davidson, who is Black, said the late US congressman John Lewis and others had fought too long and hard to secure his place at the polls for him to get tired and leave. “They’ve been fighting for decades. If I’ve got to wait six or seven hours, that’s my duty to do that. I’ll do it happily,” Davidson said.
Adrienne Crowley, who waited more than an hour to vote, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution there wasn’t anything that would make her get out of the line to vote. “I would have voted all day if I had to.”
Nationally, more than 9.4 million people have already voted, an unprecedented number, according to data collected by Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida. Georgia has long been seen as a Republican bastion, but many believe recent demographic changes have made it a more competitive state. A recent poll shows Donald Trump and Joe Biden in a statistical tie in the state. I believe that the high turnout and shift toward the Democratic candidates are the result of having the worst possible person in charge for the last four years, of having an incumbent who has point-blank stated that he does not care one whit for our lives … “It is what it is,” he said. People listen, people understand, people are voting … in record numbers.
Meanwhile, down in Texas …
I told you yesterday evening about the fake ballot drop-off boxes the Republican Party had installed in areas of Southern California. Well, down in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation last week limiting each county to only one ballot drop-off site, regardless of size or population. As I told you yesterday, the State of Ohio, among others, already had such a rule, but in Texas they already have multiple ballot drop-off boxes in most counties, and Governor Abbott’s order would require removing them. The move would disproportionately affect larger, more diverse counties and hit communities of color, making it more difficult for them to vote. Gee, what a surprise, eh? The GOP is doing every damn thing they can to keep the poor and minorities from voting, for they know that in a fair and honest election, they are likely to become a shell of what they once were, and in fact may well be doomed to extinction if they don’t make some significant changes.
Luckily, on Friday evening, US federal judge Robert Pitman blocked Texas governor Greg Abbott’s order to shut down mail-in ballot drop-off sites across the state as the election is currently under way.
Harris County, one of the largest in Texas with more than 4.7 million residents, breathed a collective sigh of relief. In a statement, the Harris county clerk, Chris Hollins, said:
“Tonight’s injunction reinstating Harris county voters’ ability to hand-deliver their ballots at 12 county offices is a victory for voting rights. The governor’s suppressive tactics should not be tolerated, and tonight’s ruling shows that the law is on the side of Texas voters.”