By Thom Hartman
On Tuesday we saw the Republican’s number one voter suppression strategy on display, as black areas in Georgia were absolutely deprived of enough voting machines and polling places to accommodate their citizens, producing lines as long as six hours to vote.
While that is infuriating in and of itself, the real crime here is that the media continues to refuse to report on this for what it is: structural racism that produces naked voter suppression.
The media continues to be amazed and surprised, reporting on these long lines as if they are some sort of natural disaster. There’s nothing natural about them at all.
The Republican’s number one strategy for voter suppression is, and has been for decades, to make it difficult for black and Hispanic people to vote, while making it easy and fast for people in white neighborhoods to vote.
Louise and I lived in Georgia for 13 years, in upscale northern Atlanta suburbs, and I never waited more than 15 minutes to vote. At the same time, every single election, we read stories in the local press about black people in downtown Atlanta having to wait three, five, even eight hours to vote.
But it was never called “voter suppression” in the Georgia media when we lived there, and that was 30 years ago. It’s only rarely called voter suppression in the mainstream media today, either, which should shock us all.
Instead, the media narrative is that Georgia was using new machines and had poorly trained workers who just weren’t “prepared” to deal with the new systems. But that problem was limited to black neighborhoods, as has been every other serious voting problem for over a century.
Because forcing long lines representsthe GOP’s number one most effective voter suppression technique, and it requires forcing people to show up at the polling place to vote in order to work, Republicans, from the RNC to Trump to statewide Republican parties, are screaming and suing and doing everything else they can to block voting by mail.
Oregon, where I live, has had voting by mail for more than 20 years and never had a problem. In fact, we have one of the highest voter participation rates in the country.
The simple reality, as LeBron James recently pointed out, is that when Republicans hold the power to regulate voting systems, they structure them in ways that produce racist outcomes. It is, literally, structural racism.
It’s time to update our Voting Rights Act to include a requirement that every state provide citizens with the ability to easily vote from the comfort and safety of their own homes by mail. And it is essential that the media start calling this what it is: Republican voter suppression.
What Georgia did Tuesday was criminal, a racist crime against our democracy, and it’s time to criminalize voter suppression once and for all.
Thom Hartmann is a talk-show host and the author of The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America and more than 25 other books in print.
Mike Cocchiola says
Republicans are prepared to do anything to suppress the vote in every state in America. They will actively discourage voting by mail, they will publish misinformation, they will reduce polling places, they will frighten and intimidate voters and they will attempt to interfere with vote counting.
The Democratic Party is raising an army of voter protection volunteers across the country. These volunteers will be trained to look for criminal activity throughout the process from the voter to the ballot box. They will have teams of lawyers ready to step in and there will be organizations like the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, Let America Vote, and many more watching carefully to prevent another Georgia or Wisconsin.
Here in Flagler County, we have the utmost confidence in our supervisor of elections and her staff. We have zero confidence in the Republican Party at the state and local levels.
David S. says
I agree this happens every year one would think that the Republicans and Washington has something to do with this….
Charlie F Ericksen says
Well I’m sure, the writer of the article, Mr Hartmann, doesn’t have any prejudice in his words, especially with the credentials he presents.. ” Talk-show host” must be the place he gets all the facts
I can’t believe that the left wing radical media, MSM, has refused to report on this subject. Frankly they would be all over this story if it was true. They have spent the last three + years trying to remove a Republican president that they absolutely HATE. They have lied so many times that maybe they have finally realized that no one is listening to them any longer.
Roger Ware says
Thom, if this were a general election you might have a case but this was a PRIMARY election. People were voting for their own party candidate. The problem area’s were all Democratic strong holds in Atlanta, yet it is the Democrat’s that are screaming voter suppression. There is no question the new systems did not work properly and people were not properly trained. Also, many who were suppose to help at the polls did not show. Voter suppression? Before you write such garbage, get your facts correct.
I call bs! White people are in that line too. Why no cry for the white voter supprression? Inner cities voting polls have more people per square mile than rural areas. Plus there is early voting available. Democrat propoganda at its weakest.
An impeached President and his Wife can vote by mail in Florida from the White House (even though there is some question as to whether Mar-A-Lago can qualify as their residence) and Derek Chauven can vote by mail in Florida while he is a Minneapolis police officer, but the Republicans are sure that a black, work or you don’t get paid single mom will commit voter fraud by voting by mail – we must be all living in the Twilight Zone.
Just the facts Ma'am. says
From your far left NPR: https://www.npr.org/2012/02/14/146827471/study-1-8-million-dead-people-still-registered-to-vote and 24 million AND And 24 million registrations are either invalid or inaccurate.
I want a State issued ID card to identify you as a voter who is legally able to vote…It should be your drivers license and issue ID cards to those who supply proof of Identity by your social security number and other proof of identity. Fixes everything…You dont drive?? We’ll come to you, take your information and confirm it and issue an ID card in the mail to make it all legal.
Requiring an i.d. to vote is voter suppresion and is illegal. No need for a voter i.d., just check the name and address of the voter. Once they have cast the vote the name is removes from list. Simple. This method has worked flawlessly for mamy years , if its not broke, dont fix it.
Trailer Bob says
Requiring an ID is NOT voter suppression Glenn. No one knows who you are without a valid photo ID. I can’t even purchase a pack of cigarettes without a photo ID at the Dollar General. Is that really such a tall wall to climb…really?
Berticus Maximus says
Need an ID to conceal carry, a right granted by the constitution. Need an ID to drive. Need an ID to buy alcohol. Need an ID to get a military discount. Need an ID to open a bank account. Need an ID to apply for food stamps/welfare. Need an ID to apply for social security/Medicaid. Need an ID to apply for a job. Need an ID for unemployment. Need an ID to apply for a mortgage. Need an ID to rent a car. Need an ID to get married. Need an ID to fly. Need an ID to buy cold medicine at CVS. But an ID to vote is illegal voter suppression. Explain that to me.