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Fri Oct 30, 2020, 02:23 PM

Denying People The Right To Vote, Now & Historically: Is America A Democracy?

Why this election calls into question whether America is a democracy. At the beginning of the Fight to Vote project, we asked this question. After a year of election battles, voting restrictions & partisan conflicts, we revisit the idea, The Guardian, 10/30/20.

Is America a democracy? If so, why does it deny millions the vote?

America has long held itself up as the world’s leading democracy, but it has an equally long history of denying people the right to vote. To understand how voter suppression is shaping the 2020 election, just look at Texas. While many states do not require voters to have a reason to vote by mail, Texas only allows voters to do so if they are 65 or older or meet other conditions. The state does not allow people to register to vote online.

Even with a flood of Covid cases, Texas has successfully fought tooth and nail in federal and state courts to uphold those restrictions. Last month, Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, a Republican, abruptly issued an order that limited each county in the state to offer one ballot drop box. The move meant that Democratic-friendly Harris county, which covers more than 1,700 square miles and is home to 2.4 million registered voters, could only offer one place for voters to return their ballots. The state of Rhode Island, which is smaller than Harris county, will have more drop-off locations this year.

The battle playing across America is in some ways a continuation of a centuries-long fight over access to the franchise. African Americans were formally denied the right to vote at the nation’s founding, and even when granted access in the 19th century, states responded by implementing devices such as poll taxes, literacy tests and felon disenfranchisement laws designed to keep African Americans from the polls.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act, a crown jewel of the civil rights movement, blunted many of these racist tools, in part by requiring places with a history of voting discrimination, like Texas, to get voting changes pre-cleared before they went into effect. But in 2013, the US supreme court gutted that provision, saying it was no longer necessary. States, freed from federal oversight, unleashed a wave of new voting restrictions, including new voter ID laws and efforts to close polling places.

“The forces that were fine with poll taxes and literacy tests are the same kinds of forces that are equally comfortable in the 21st century with ‘targeting African Americans with almost surgical precision’ in voter IDs and requiring extra hurdles to cast an absentee ballot in the midst of a global pandemic”...


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Reply Denying People The Right To Vote, Now & Historically: Is America A Democracy? (Original post)
appalachiablue Oct 2020 OP
Proud liberal 80 Oct 2020 #1
appalachiablue Oct 2020 #2
Chainfire Oct 2020 #3

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2020, 02:28 PM

1. we are not a Democracy we are a Republic

Just being sarcastic, but it seems like whenever someone brings stuff like this up, that now is Republicans go to line.
This is the DU member formerly known as Proud liberal 80.

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Response to Proud liberal 80 (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 30, 2020, 02:36 PM

2. Several years ago we got a lecture on how 'America is

a republic!' (not a democracy) by a restaurant staffer. The boss didn't like us paying with the 'Stamp Money Out of Politics' stamp which is perfectly legal, that was on several of the bills we used to pay the tab. Get over it is what I wanted to say.

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Response to Proud liberal 80 (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 30, 2020, 02:38 PM

3. It is indeed the Republican line

You can confuse them when you quote some of the founders referring to the system as a Democracy. We are a Representative Democracy. We act as a Democracy when we vote on ballot initiatives.

In any case, what ever we are is in danger of a very "undemocratic" takeover. The Republicans would like a one party system of right-wing philosophy, and they don't care what it takes to get there. If they achieve their goals, the word Democracy will be stricken from the language, along with other words like liberal or progressive.

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