Voter Repression

Originally posted to the Mountain Bears Democratic Club Website by Glenn Thompson –

Dear Carol,

The commentariat has been treating Clinton’s popular vote win and electoral vote loss as some kind of anomaly.

Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s simply what you see when right-wing red state voter suppression comes to fruition.

Think about it: we have some states that encourage voting, a/k/a blue states. We have some states that suppress voting, a/k/a red states. Quick quiz: What happens when lots of people vote in the blue states, and few people vote in the red states?
Correct. The candidate who wins the blue states wins the popular vote, and the candidate who wins the red states wins the electoral vote. Q.E.D.

The votes have finally stopped dribbling in. Hillary won 2.7 million more votes than The Donald. She won the popular vote by 48% to 46% — fairly close to pre-election polling. And yet the projected electoral vote is Trump 306, Clinton 232.

Think about that. We call ourselves a democracy, and yet the candidate who won the popular vote – not narrowly, but by 2.7 million, which is more than the total number of people in fifty different nations – she is denied victory. Howzat?
Because in the blue states, voters vote, and in the red states, well . . . .

Since the 2012 Presidential election, Republicans in Wisconsin have imposed brutal voter suppression laws on an innocent electorate. And last month, Wisconsin had the lowest Presidential turnout in twenty years.

But that’s just one state. According to the Brennan Center, fourteen states instituted voter suppression laws since the previous Presidential election: Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The impact is precisely what was intended. Here are the numbers.
The U.S. Elections Project put 2016 turnout among eligible persons (not foreign citizens, not ineligible felons, not children, etc.) at 59%.

There were twenty states that fell short of that. Nine of them instituted new voter suppression laws. Of the 30 states that exceeded the national average, only five had instituted new voter suppression laws.

Texas enacted pervasive voter suppression laws during the last few years. Only 43% of the adult population of Texas, and just 51% of the eligible population, voted last month.
Among the ten states with the highest turnout, Clinton won eight. Among the ten states with the lowest turnout, Clinton won three.

In sum, right-wing voter suppression is working, and it is working bigly, as our President-Elect would say. It certainly worked bigly for him.

Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution guarantees to us a “republican form of government.” And if we allow voter suppression to continue, we will be guaranteed a Republican form of government. That is the clear and present danger.

Rep. Alan Grayson