They {Don’t} Want Your Vote

Every citizen of the United States age 18 or older should be able to vote.  Voting is truly the only official voice we have in who runs our government and how they run it.  Sure, we can write letters, we can protest, we can make phone calls … but at the end of the day, it is our VOTE that counts, that decides what our nation will be or become.  Each and every one of us has … or should have … that right.  In some countries, nobody has that right, so we should protect and safeguard our right as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.  Voting IS a right here in the U.S., but it is also a responsibility.

Even prior to the 2020 election, certain states had very restrictive voting laws, and after the utterly false claims of widescale voting fraud and other lies following the 2020 election, nearly every state in the country proposed and passed even more restrictions on voting.  It is the opinion of this writer that if you are 18 or older, you should be able to vote.  Skin colour, literacy skills, age, gender, income level, and locale should not matter.  And yet … people of colour, poor people, young people, elderly people, disabled people, and those with prior felony convictions are often disenfranchised by unfair voting restrictions in their state.

Did you know that in Michigan it is against the law to “hire a motor vehicle” to transport a voter to the polls unless they are “physically unable to walk”?  So, anybody who doesn’t drive, doesn’t own a car, and isn’t in a wheelchair, will not be able to vote.  You cannot take a bus, taxi, Uber, or even ask your neighbor to drive you to the polls to vote in Michigan.  I imagine that law is hard as hell to enforce, but still … the very fact that it is even a law is beyond disgusting!

In 2021, 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. More than 440 bills with provisions that restrict voting access were introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.  Last year, Congress had the opportunity to pass two bills, the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, both of which would have protected our right to vote at the federal level, overriding restrictive state laws.  Both bills passed in the House of Representatives but failed to pass in the Senate.  Why?  Because while all Democrats voted for and all Republicans (except one) voted against, the filibuster kept the bills from passing.  The filibuster rules might have been changed to exclude voting rights legislation, but no … Republicans, aided and abetted by Democratic Senators Manchin and Sinema, refused.  Why?  Because as one Republican openly admitted, if everyone could vote, Republicans would never win another election.

The 2020 election had the highest voter turnout of this century with nearly 67% of all eligible voters actually casting a vote.  In part, the reason was that many states went the extra mile to make it easier to vote by mail or ballot drop box in light of the pandemic.  Also in part was a concentrated effort to unseat the person who was, at the time, sitting in the Oval Office.  However, I find it pathetic that even with easier access to the ballot, only 67% voted.  WHERE WERE THE OTHER 33%???

With just 53 days until the mid-term elections on November 8th, it’s time for us to all be giving some serious thought to voting.  In most states, you can check online to make sure you’re registered – DO IT!  Some states are quite aggressive in removing people from the list of registered voters without cause, so it’s important to make sure you are registered.  If your state supports no-excuse absentee voting, by all means save yourself considerable time and angst by requesting an absentee ballot.  If you have the wherewithal (time and vehicle) to help transport people in your neighborhood to the polls on election day, please do so.  Your vote … is so important.  Every single vote matters.  Let’s not let the bastards keep us away from the polls, let’s not throw away our one opportunity to be heard, to have our say in who is making the decisions that affect the lives of each and every one of us.  If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for your children and grandchildren who will inherit the world we create today.


Warning:  This blog will frequently contain posts, including some updated reprisals of past posts, about voting and voting rights between now and November 8th.  I make no apologies … this may be the single most important election thus far in our lifetimes and we need to understand the issues, the candidates, and what is riding on our choices.  Thank you for your patience.

32 thoughts on “They {Don’t} Want Your Vote

  1. Jill, I put together a guide to candidates in important races for the Senate, House, state Secretaries and attorneys general, and state Supreme Court judges. I link to each Dem (and a few Independents) for more info—and cite why I think it’s so important for everyone to vote for these folks.

    I hope you’ll take a look at it and help me reach as many people as possible. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I saw that you had done so earlier today but was pressed for time and so did not take a close look. However, I bookmarked the post to go back and delve deeper and YES … I will absolutely share it this afternoon and make sure as many people as possible see it! Thanks so much for all your hard work, Annie!

      Like

        • Ahhhh … but the problem there is that the internet is filled with misinformation masquerading as fact and a simple Google search may or may not provide the correct answer. More ‘leg work’ would be required than a simple Google search, and many simply don’t know where to turn for the facts of the matter.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Not for you or I, but it may be for others, my friend. And … think about this. In Florida, election officials told ex-felons they were eligible to register and vote, and now those ex-felons are being charged with felony unlawful voting because the officials were either mistaken or intentionally misled them. So … even the most reliable of sources … sometimes aren’t.

              Liked by 1 person

              • The voters overwhelmingly voted a few years back to let felons, who had served their sentences and were not convicted of rape, murder or pedophilia, vote. But the republicans in power, refused to comply with the will of the people and I believe, they still cannot vote. It is stuck in the courts. Of course, they were tricked..migrants, the very poor and the non English speaking have a hard time doing legitimate research..and the republicans know this..they us it. They are so corrupt…makes me ill

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yes, if there’s a way to cheat people, somebody will find it and use it, especially if they can use it for profit, or to suppress the vote. I see no reason why ANY convicted felon who has served his sentence should be kept from voting. They are out, they’ve paid the price for their crimes, and now they are presumably working and paying taxes. If you pay taxes, why shouldn’t you get to have a say in how those taxes are used, ie through voting? Like you, it makes me ill.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. Voter suppression is for the republicans to stay in power and they know most of the poor (excluding trump rednecks) and minorities would vote democrat. Australia sets the high mark and we will never come close. Our system is too corrupt. The republicans also count on the apathy that has become insidious in our country. It’s all rigged, but, yes, by all means I vote, as should everyone. It should be viewed as a duty and an honor.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly, Mary. If every person 18 and older voted, there would be few or no Republicans in public office! I do love Australia’s system and would love to see something similar here, but can you imagine the hell that would be raised if it were even suggested? I would argue that while yes, we have far too much corruption in our system, I don’t think it’s “all rigged”. Gerrymandering and restrictive voting laws are a HUGE problem, but I still think it’s salvageable. I hope so, anyway. And yes, the more of us vote, the more honest the election will be!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jill, breaking this down to its simplest terms, a party that works to restrict voting does not trust its message. As an example, the war on more IRS agents, at its heart, is rich people not wanting the IRS to question their aggressive (and perhaps illicit) tax deductions. What many who bought this message don’t realize is the IRS staff was reduced under the previous president, who for some reason does not want his taxes revealed.

    People need to ask more why questions. Voter suppression has long been deployed to keep a boot on the neck of the disenfranchised. Do Democrats gerrymander, yes, but Republicans have used an aggressive voter suppression strategy well before Trump’s Big Lie. They have just leapt on the Big Lie to do even more. Living in North Carolina as an independent voter, I have seen GOP voter suppression efforts ruled unconstitutional time and again, which is why getting conservative judges is so important to the GOP to rule in favor of such.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re quite right … and in this particular case, that party talks out of both sides of its collective mouth and sends conflicting messages, seemingly without any coherent thought behind them. Indeed, the horror scenario the Republicans are painting of the increase in IRS agents is ridiculous, but no doubt some who aren’t deep thinkers will believe it. Gee, Keith … I can’t imaging why the former guy wouldn’t want his taxes revealed! Surely he hasn’t lied or cheated!

      It is disturbing to me that something like 120 people running for office this year are fanning the flames of the Big Lie about the 2020 election. Seems to me that should disqualify them altogether, but then I don’t make the rules. Some, inevitably, will win their bids. Add to that the number of states where the election will be overseen and tallied by election deniers. Between all that, plus gerrymandering, plus voting restrictions … even though certain candidates like Oz, Vance, and Mastriano are losing in the polls, they could nonetheless win on November 8th. Everyone can respond to a poll, but not everyone can vote.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t understand the voting restrictions that some states have put into place. If anything, we should be making it easier for people to vote. I am a big fan of mail in ballots, since I feel it gives me an opportunity to be more thoughtful about who I am going to vote for…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’ll state up front that I’m an Australian. As one of the youngest Western democracies, our constitution was written such that every eligible person MUST vote. Because of that necessity, voting has been made as easy as possible. We always vote on a Saturday, so most people /can/ vote. We have voting booths in almost every school hall or community centre Australia wide, so there’s always a voting place near at hand. We also have postal ballots.

    And we have consequences for not voting…but…the punishment for not voting is a $50 slap on the wrist!

    We have no voter fraud as far as I know, and while Australians might grumble at having to make time to vote, we all DOT IT.

    Are all Australians fully aware of the policies and issues of the day? Nope. Does majority rule always get it right? Nope. But at least there /is/ majority rule. Our country isn’t driven by extreme factions of either the left or the right because compulsory voting /moderates/ those extremes.

    Is the US even aware of how far it’s drifting from the principles of democracy?????

    Liked by 4 people

    • And THAT, my dear friend, is exactly how it SHOULD be!!! I have long wished we had mandatory voting, and I also wish we had all postal voting (one state, Oregon, does have 100% postal voting).

      As for your last question … well I know that I and many like me are painfully aware of how far we are drifting … have drifted … from the foundations of democracy upon which the country was built. Others, however, claim to see it differently. The pandemic, a crisis that could have and should have brought the people of this nation together, instead divided us even more. Some of us did everything possible to protect not only ourselves, but our families, friends, co-workers and anyone else we might come into contact with. We wore masks, stayed home whenever possible, and got vaccinated. We saw that as our democratic responsibility. Others, however, said that it was their right under the terms of a democracy to NOT take precautions. That’s just one example of the deep chasm in ideology here, and yet both sides think they know what defines ‘democracy’. My thoughts are that we are on the brink and the next two-and-a-half years will decide whether we can remain a democratic republic, or will be turned into an autocratic plutocracy. Sigh.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I came to the same chasm, Jill. On one side are those for whom democracy is a responsibility as well as a privilege. On the other side are those who see democracy as nothing but a vehicle for their own wants.
        In a sense, democracy holds within it the seeds of its own destruction. I truly do not want to see that day dawn. :/

        Like

  6. This IS the most important election in many lifetimes! This comes from a person who does not even believe in democracy as it (does not) works today. I am not going to say that if not everyone votes who is eligible to vote they will get what they deserve. There are things no one deserves. What I will say is, if not everyone who is eligible to vote votes, YOU MIGHT GET SOMETHING THAT MOST PEOPLE DO NOT WANT. The idea of democracy is majority rules. If not everyone votes, chances are a minority can overrule the majority. That is a gamble no one should be willing to risk. Win or lose, if everyone votes, the majority will win. That cannot happen for sure unless everyone votes.

    On a sidenote, if people in Michigan cannot hire a motor vehicle to take them to the polls, then volunteers in every community should put signs on their vehicles, FREE RIDES TO VOTE, just so long as they do not “hire” the driver/vehicle. Or, voters who can afford taxis, buses, etc should direct the drivers to take them to a business near the polls. After they do their business (buy a coke, or a bottle of water, discuss a service, etc.), then they can go to vote since they are already in the vicinity of the polls.
    Obey the law, do not hire a ride to the polling station.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right … this may well be the election that decides whether this nation can continue as a democratic republic using the Constitution written in 1787 as a foundation for our laws, or whether we burn the Constitution and become an autocratic plutocracy. If voter restrictions coupled with voter apathy keep many people away from the polls, then yes, we will certainly get something that none of us bargained for … well, except for a few who are conniving to create an entirely different country than what we have had for more than 235 years. Voting is a right, but also a responsibility and to shirk that responsibility is to literally stab the people of this nation in the back.

      I really like your idea about people signing on to give FREE rides to vote! This is just too too important to let utterly STUPID, discriminatory laws keep us away from the polls. I’m a bit paranoid, I guess, for I logged onto my state’s voting website today to make sure that the girls and I are still registered and that our applications for mail-in ballots had been received. Thumbs up on all counts … and I breathed a sigh of relief!

      Liked by 2 people

        • We are very lucky. Even though this is considered a ‘swing state’ and we have a Republican governor, he is among the more moderate Republicans. We have had ‘no excuse’ absentee voting for as long as I can remember, though I only started taking advantage of it about 10 years ago when going to the polls was becoming a hassle.

          Liked by 1 person

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