Monday, October 29, 2012

Democracy denied: Millions of Americans blocked from voting

Voter suppression efforts today echo 19th century efforts to block urban immigrant working class from casting vote.
Paul Rosenberg

"Habitual non-voters are more Democratic and more social democratic than habitual voters are, so the GOP has a vested interest in keeping the electorate as limited as possible," says author [EPA]
The US Presidential race is being fought out most visibly in its "air war" - the barrage of TV ads concentrated in swing states, and the televised debates reaching tens of millions of viewers at once. But in the end, the outcome may well be determined by its trench warfare, a crucial component of which, for the GOP, consists in an intensively-fought effort to prevent as many Democrats as possible from voting.
It's a throwback to a bygone era, when similar efforts throughout the North - stopping short of the blood-stained mass terror favoured in the South - were employed to suppress the votes of thousands, perhaps millions of naturalised working class voters.
With roughly seven million voters effectively prevented from voting in 2008, according to the Co-operative Congressional Election Study, and perhaps five million more imperiled by new voter-suppression measures, according to another study in 2011, this should be a dominant campaign story.
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