Alleged Voter Suppression Runs Rampant Leading up to Midterm Elections
November 5, 2018
Since the founding of America groups of people have been barred from voting based on race, gender, wealth, and literacy among others. This pattern seemingly has not changed in America leading up to the 2018 Midterm Elections, with accusations of voter suppression front and center.
Republican officials have recently been hounded with accusations of preventing minorities, most predominantly African Americans, from voting in the midterms. These officials are allegedly doing this by adding and cracking down on certain laws making it more difficult for specific populations to vote.
For example, in Georgia the historic race for governor is tight between Democrat Stacey Abrams who could potentially be the first African-American woman to be the governor of Georgia, and Republican Brian Kemp. In Georgia over 53,000 voter registrations have been put on hold because their voter registration did not exactly match up to other forms of ID. These mismatches have predominantly come in forms of misspellings, missed hyphens, and having a nickname on one form of ID and full name on another. With only a few days before the registration deadline, many voters feared they would be barred from voting.
These voter registration laws seemingly affect minority voters the most. Georgia’s population is 32% black, however, 70% of those with registrations on hold are black. This is an overwhelming majority that raises eyebrows at the intentions of those making and enforcing these laws.
Leigh Jensen ’20 commented on the issue saying, “I definitely think they are doing this because it’s one thing to have one case happen where people are kept from voting but because this is multiple cases it’s not just a coincidence.” She says it is not only about their opposing votes but a whole basis on racism and suppression.
GOP officials claim to be fighting against voter fraud, Voter fraud is interference with the process of an election in any form from increasing the vote to favor a candidate to decreasing the vote of the rival candidate. However, voter fraud is not as big of an issue in America as many people seem to think. Arizona State University conducted two studies about voter fraud in 2012 and 2016. The first study revealed 10 cases of voter fraud among billions of votes in the country from 2000-2012. When again conducted, zero cases of voter fraud were found between 2012 and 2016.
Many believe GOP officials simply want to suppress votes that they believe will not benefit them. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Emory University Professor Carrol Stone said, “An aging, nearly 90 percent white GOP cannot carry its candidates to electoral victory on a platform that revels in the consequences of unvarnished racism.”