Voters hit the polls today to elect the next crop of legislatures, and of course, the President of the United States. Even though the American democratic standard is revered around the globe, there are still sinister forces at work. Republicans know that it is more difficult tonight for Romney to win than Obama. So they are going to use all of the tools at their disposal, even when those tools are immoral and illegal.
There are three primary ways that Republicans have already, will today and will in the coming days attempt to manipulate the outcome of the election:
- Voter ID laws were the first attempt at suppressing the Democratic vote, and its history goes back a few years. Republican officials enacted rules requiring voters to present valid photo ID, something that not everyone has, disproportionately those who vote Democrat. The Republican politicians tried to apply these laws selectively, to areas that go blue in elections. Courts saw right through this and a number of rulings deemed these laws unconstitutional.
- Today, people posing as election assistants or officials will try to spread misinformation at polling places, in an illegal attempt at tricking voters out of their right. It’s truly depressing to think that people would resort to this, but again, when viewed against the Republican platform, it is not uncharacteristic: control others who disagree with us, make decisions for them. If you see anyone suspicious call the police immediately. If enough of these people can get caught, it could lead to better voting conditions in the future.
- And then, there is of course the favorite: legal challenges to vote counting. It worked for W Bush in 2000, and will certainly come up if the race is close. There are too many angles to count that Republicans will try to exploit, like the window that an early vote ballot was kept in a certain place, or doublechecking the voter registration numbers. Anyway possible to exclude votes from the Democrats.
Democrats have not used any of these tactics. What does that say about Republicans? Keep vigilant at the polls today, and make sure that everyone who goes to vote can.