Approach To Voting Tells How Parties View Democracy

One of the quickest and easiest ways to judge how the two major parties in this country view the very fundamental concept of democracy is to simply see how they treat voters.

As usual, we see Democrats busting their butts to get every eligible voters to the polls to cast their vote on or before election day. Democrats work hard to bring the polls to the people in the form of satellite voting stations or by keeping auditors offices open beyond regular hours.

Also as usual, we see Republicans doing all they can to suppress votes through physical intimidation, misleading information, wildly distorted ads or other means. Here we see the Young Turks discussing Republican suppression tactics that go back to before Reagan. These practices are still in effect today and will most likely be for a long time to come:

According to Bloomberg News the Trump campaign currently has 3 voter suppression efforts going on in swing state Florida:

“To compensate for this, Trump’s campaign has devised another strategy, which, not surprisingly, is negative. Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are “super predators” is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.”

The above are just a couple of small examples of voter suppression efforts going on around the country as Republicans do all they can to keep people – the “demos” in democracy – from voting.

Even in Iowa, Terry Branstad took a swipe at driving down the vote by agreeing with the Trump campaign the the election was “rigged” and claiming that college students voted both in their college towns and in their home towns. Well, maybe Branstad did in his day, but that doesn’t seem to be happening these days. At least former Secretary of State Matt Schultz never found such a problem as he spent bundles of taxpayer money to find essentially nothing.

Up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the city clerk refused to open a satellite voting station on the university campus:

Green Bay’s city clerk refused to open an early voting location on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus in part because she feared doing so would unfairly benefit Democratic candidates, according to emails released Tuesday.

Student leaders representing a variety of political parties, including Democrats and Republicans, asked Green Bay City Clerk Kris Teske in September to open an early voting location on campus after experiencing long lines in the spring primary election. Emails also show state Rep. Eric Genrich, D-Green Bay, made the same request in August.

“UWGB is a polling location for students and residents on Election Day but I feel by asking for this to be the site for early voting is encouraging the students to vote more than benefiting the city as a whole,” she (Teske) wrote. “I have heard it said that students lean more toward the democrats and (Genrich) is a democrat.”

Meanwhile, anyone who has been a part of any Democratic effort knows that “Get Out The Vote” is one of the driving force in the campaign. Pushing for people to vote by mail, or to vote early at their auditor’s office or receiving some assurance of a voter’s intent to vote on election day itself. Such a promise is usually followed by calls just before and on election day.

For Democrats putting the “demos” in democracy is at the very base of their philosophy.

Going with the party that believes in the people seems to be the way a democracy should be run.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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