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Letter: Don’t support a party that works to suppress your vote
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Voters wait in line to vote early at the Hall County Government Center on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. - photo by Austin Steele

Lines in our recent election were very long, often stringing out into the streets. Some people waited three hours or more, and it was a rainy day. In light of this, I call for the state to have a credible plan to accommodate 100 percent voter turnout in a timely manner for every polling location in the state. We should never accept less. 

Stacy Abrams has conceded Republican Brian Kemp will be elected governor. Kemp’s campaign spokesman derided Abrams’ effort to have all ballots counted before calling the election as a “disgrace to democracy.” 

If Kemp was sure of his position, what was his hurry to declare victory? Was it the same hurry that produced the Brooks Brothers riot in Florida during the 2000 presidential election? There is an infamous photo of these protesters in which 10 people in front are identified as Republican congressional aides from Washington DC pretending to be local citizens protesting the recount. They were flown in just for that purpose. That’s dishonest. I keep a copy of that photo to remind myself what real election-related fraudulent activity looks like. 

As the public demographic changes, credible political parties modify their political platform to better appeal to a majority of voters. However, instead of modifying its platform positions to gain votes based on merit, one party has chosen to win elections by taking calculated steps to suppress minority votes. 

Georgia’s “exact match” law is one method used to accomplish this. The law requires all information on a voter registration application to exactly match records kept by Georgia’s Department of Driver Services. An application may fail for simple mistakes like a missing hyphen or apostrophe, or a suffix like Senior or Junior, or use of “Tom” instead of “Thomas.” An Associated Press analysis shows the exact match law affected 53,000 voter registrations in Georgia, mostly from African-Americans. Kemp wanted them all thrown out. 

Other methods used to suppress votes: 

(1) Photo-ID requirements passed on a dishonest claim that voter fraud was rampant and posed a threat to election security. Simple math shows that was a lie. 

(2) Closure of 214 polling precincts in poor and minority districts in the state of Georgia since 2012. 

(3) Purging of voter roles to remove citizens who may not have voted recently. This opens the door for fraudulent activity by outside contractors selected by the party in power who apply partisan criteria and operate with wide discretional latitude. 

(4) Computer modeling used for demographic “stacking and cracking” to draw gerrymandered districts intended to disenfranchise minorities. 

(5) Passage of a law in North Dakota designed specifically to prevent Native Americans living on reservations from voting because they have no verifiable residential street address.

(6) Gov. Rick Scott reversed a Florida policy that restored voting rights to ex-felons, thus blocking 1.5 million Floridians from getting a chance to vote.

I'd ask readers to consult their conscience before supporting any party that relies on these methods to win.

Bruce Vandiver


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