Democracy Denied

Carefully studying the 2012 voter turnout numbers has made me feel so empowered. I had a chance to analyze the results from the Census Bureau’s November Voting and Registration Supplement, and here are the numbers that stood out to me.

Voter Turnout in 2012


Comparison of Turnout

Look at the number of People of Color heading to the polls! Look at women just DOMINATING the polls and coming out even more then men. I mean these numbers scream progress and the hope of new majorities and the creation of true change and equality within government and the people who are elected.

And then I watched this....

The Daily Show segment interviewed North Carolina’s (newly past) GOP Precinct Chair Don Yelton, who during the interview, told correspondent Aasif Mandvi that he’s in favor of the state’s controversial voter ID laws because “If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”

Some of my other favorite quotes from this lovely Interview include:

“Well I’ve been called a bigot before.”...“One of my best friends is black.”...“I had a picture one time of Obama sitting on a stump as a witch doctor, and I posted it on Facebook.”  And my favorite is…“I’ve made fun of the white half of Obama, not the black half.”

But I digress…The provision of the Voting Rights Act that was struck down by the Supreme Court made many of the Red states jump to get now-“constitutional” restrictive voter laws, such as mandatory voter ID requirements, reductions in early voting, and the elimination of same day registration. And although many people completely disagreed with Court’s decision, it actually had nothing to do with any of the laws they’re now espousing.

So now we face the true repercussions and effects of this problem today.  Texas’s early voting began for state constitutional amendments began October 23rd, and new voter ID laws affected people such as 117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts—who has voted in every election for the last forty-nine years—because the middle name on her ID didn’t match her voter record since she didn’t change the voting record after she got married. And the problem has gotten even worse. “Based on Texas’ own data, 600,000 to 800,000 registered voters don’t have the government-issued ID needed to cast a ballot, with Hispanics 46 to 120 percent more likely than whites to lack an ID.” And a much larger segment of the electorate, aka women, my dominant, secret majority voters,  will be impacted by the requirement that a voter’s ID be “substantially similar” to their name on the voter registration rolls (i.e., if your name changed because of marriage, and you haven’t changed that on your voter id, then you’re out of luck).

And I don’t even want to get in to difficulties of obtaining a photo ID with elections so close in Texas, but it infuriates me that the argument for all of this trouble is that “it’s necessary to stop the rampant menace of voter fraud.” YET there has been only one successful conviction for voter impersonation—ONLY ONE CONVICTION OF VOTER FRAUD IN TEXAS—since 2000.

And if all of this has not made you angry, or at least a little frustrated and wondering what the hell was going through the Supreme Court’s mind when they made this decision, then you should also know that “Texas has the distinction of being one of the few states that allows you to vote with a concealed weapons permit, but not a student ID.”

Dear God, if these shenanigans truly affect voter turnout, suppress the democratic vote, and inhibit Wendy Davis in her run for Governor, then the Right Wing will have succeeded in holding back the tide of progress we witnessed in the 2012 election.  We cannot let that happen.

If you want to get angrier/know more about voter suppression check out this sexy infographic:


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