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Sat Oct 31, 2020, 10:20 AM

Why this election calls into question whether America is a democracy


from the Guardian UK:


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 and partisan conflicts, we revisit the idea

Sam Levine
Fri 30 Oct 2020 13.45 EDTFirst published on Fri 30 Oct 2020 12.00 EDT



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. .............(more)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/30/is-america-a-democracy-us-election-fight-to-vote




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