Only 55% of registered voters actually voted in the last election. Of the 45% who voted, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3,000,000 votes. Trump won the presidency of this nation with only 27% of the vote!
Trump’s victory was a wake-up call as to how far we need to go to restore democracy. The issues we face are numerous. In many cases, Democrats are facing a system that is rigged against them. Republican legislators have passed legislation or instituted voter processing procedures which assure them an optimal chance of winning in many areas of the country. The tools they use to accomplish this are:
Gerrymandering – Gerrymandering allows the redistricting of battleground areas to assure a party victory for whichever party drafts the boundaries for the redistricting.
Voter Suppression – The loss of the Voting Rights Act enabled states to reduce the number of polling places and shorten the number of days that polling places were open. The result was that in a number of districts, particularly the districts that would normally vote Democratic, voters had to wait more than 5 hours to vote or drive long distances to find a polling location. In addition, registering to vote become more complicated in some states. Mostly the poor, who often vote Democrat, were affected.
Cross Check – Cross check has been introduced in a number of states. Its reported purpose is to cut down on fraudulent voting. However, many states use this system as a means to prevent many legal voters from voting by accusing them of being registered in more than one place. This can be accomplished by conducting a computer search using only first and last names and disregarding middle names, residence address, age, or other factors which could indicate that the individuals are not the same person.
Citizen’s United – Citizen’s United provided an opportunity for big corporations to pour money into political campaigning. It had a significant effect on down-ticket races. Corporate America often favors Republicans because many Republican legislators vote against governmental regulations and laws that affect a corporation’s bottom line- making money!
Democrats must be a force in overturning these abuses. We are in this battle alone. It does not appear that Republican legislators are in any big hurry to restore democracy to the people and risk Democratic control of government!