Our Democracy is under attack
Our democracy is under attack. Russia, China, and Iran are attacking our democracy by spreading disinformation and destabilizing our political process. However, our biggest threat to democracy is not a foreign agent. Unfortunately, our biggest threat to democracy comes from inside the United States by the anti-democratic forces within the Republican Party and the United States President.
Despite all their bluster about their commitment to the constitution, the Republican party and President Trump have been all but ignoring the Fifteenth Amendment.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude–
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
These anti-democratic forces have been resorting to voter suppression and voter intimidation for decades. Regrettably, their attacks on our nation’s democracy have reached a whole new level this year. They are now resorting to the disqualification of ballots by getting rid of votes delivered after election day. These unethical anti-democratic forces are not even trying to do this under any guise of legal or ethical premises; they are blatant in their disregard for each individual’s right to vote.
How can one explain the California Republican party installing fake ballot boxes and refusing to remove them? There is no explanation. This is classic voter disenfranchisement.
What’s the Governor’s rationale to allow for only one ballot dropbox per county in Texas? There is no rationale other than voter suppression.
What’s President Trump’s justification for calling for an ‘army’ of poll-watchers? There is no justification other than voter intimidation.
While the Republican Party and President Trump’s behavior has been heinous and unacceptable, the judicial system has not been on the side of American democracy either. Supreme Court sided in with Citizens United in the landmark decision of Citizens United vs. FEC. Decided in 2010, in a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections could not be limited because doing so would violate the First Amendment. This ruling effectively decided that “corporations are people too” and thus protected under First Amendment. This allowed corporations to pour in millions of dollars into American elections through their PACS and super PACs. In contrast, 99.999% of American citizens do not have resources to compete with their wealth. For the relatively small group with this amount of wealth, there are actual contribution limits to prevent them from donating beyond individual contribution limits. This landmark decision by the Supreme Court effectively allowed for Politicians for Sale. The results of this have been terrifying.
While Citizens United was a big blow to our democracy, the worst attack came from the Supreme Court decision invalidating the voting rights act’s key parts. This ruling has had severe consequences, as it opened the door for severe restrictions on the American electorate.
The GOP voter suppression tactics and the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions have come to a head during the pandemic crisis of the year 2020. The governments had the ethical and moral obligation to make elections free, fair, and safe for all its citizens. To this effect, most states allowed its citizens to request mail-in ballots. President Trump and the GOP saw this as a threat to their voter suppression tactics and went into a full-blown attack mode against this valid practice of absentee ballots.
All states were accepting absentee ballots until this year as long as they were postmarked on election day. This is similar to the tax return deadline or any other deadline, which involves postal mail. This year, USPS chief DeJoy dismantled sorting machines and canceled overtime pay for employees to slow down the mail explicitly. If this slow down makes the ballot to reach the designated location after 8 pm ET on election day (November 3rd, 2020), Republicans sued in several states to reject ballots received after the election day. The Republican Party has made these arguments in the State supreme courts of Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other states. In fact, in the recent ruling on such legal challenge against counting mail-in ballots received after election day, the Supreme Court Of The United States took an ominous position against extending the deadline to accept post-marked ballots.
In his opinion, attached to the 5-to-3 ruling against the deadline extension in Wisconsin, Justice Kavanaugh wrote that Election Day mail-in deadlines were devised “to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after Election Day and potentially flip the results of an election.”
FLIP THE ELECTION?
What’s the rush to announce a result on election day????
What happened to announce the results after every vote is counted???
Justice Elena Kagan used her dissenting opinion in the Wisconsin case on Monday to deliver a tart reply to Kavanaugh’s stated fears about a drawn-out vote-counting process. She also signaled that if a legal fight erupted after Election Day, the court’s liberals would be inclined to make sure every vote was counted and would look with disfavor on arbitrary deadlines that nullify some votes.
“Justice Kavanaugh alleges that ‘suspicions of impropriety’ will result if ‘absentee ballots flow in after election day and potentially flip the results of an election,’” Kagan wrote, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.
“But there are no results to ‘flip’ until all valid votes are counted. And nothing could be more ‘suspicio[us]’ or ‘improp[er]’ than refusing to tally votes once the clock strikes 12 on election night. To suggest otherwise, especially in these fractious times, is to disserve the electoral process.”
Republicans understand that Democratic voters are concerned about Corona Virus and prefer the mail-in vote to participate in elections. They have created additional hurdles like Pennsylvania’s Secrecy Envelopes, South Carolina’s witness signature requirement, Georgia’s signature match legislation, etc. to make it easier to disqualify minority voters’ votes or prevent them from voting altogether. They have also explicitly tried to prevent people from voting by resorting to “poll tax” on convicted felons in Florida.
Donald Trump and the Republican Party know that if every eligible American participates in our democracy, they will never win any election. Instead of trying to earn our votes, they are now trying to intimidate us, suppress our rights, and disqualify our votes.
Democrats are voting in record numbers this year. As of Friday, October 30th — 90M votes have already been received. With the latest attacks on democratic rights, it’s more important for us to stand up against these voter suppression tactics do everything in our power to get our votes counted. Here are some ways you can ensure that your democratic rights are not stolen from you by the Republican party
If you have already sent your mail-in ballot, make sure that this ballot is received and accepted by checking with your state Secretary of State.
If you mailed your ballot, and it was not received/accepted by the election day, please go to your local polling station and request for a provisional ballot and fill that in.
If you have not mailed your ballot yet, please do not mail your ballot. Please vote in person on election day.
Instead of enabling democracy by making elections free, fair, and safe, the GOP’s anti-democratic forces are illegally using their positions in the state legislatures, state supreme courts, and the Supreme Court Of The United States to abridge your vote.
Instead of supporting us and making us feel safe, secure, and respected when we fulfill our right to vote, the GOP’s anti-democratic forces are intimidating us, scaring us, and disenfranchising us. They believe that democratic voters are weak and cowards, and we can easily be scared of these hurdles and tactics. They are trying to deny your vote.
Let’s stop the Republican party from suffocating our right to vote. This is the only way to Fight Back against this attack on our democracy.