In recent election cycles Republicans have increasingly relied on dirty tricks to win elections. Most of the dirty tricks involve keeping people who are Democrats or would vote for Democrats from voting, or keeping actual votes from counting. Republicans have used state legislatures to produce extremely gerrymandered congressional districts. They’ve purged voting rolls based on criteria that tend to include minorities. They’ve enacted ID laws that tend to punish and exclude likely Democratic voters. They’ve reduced the number of polling places in Democratic districts. They’ve limited or eliminated early voting and absentee voting. They invalidated ballots for minor or insignificant irregularities. They’ve even sent out flyers to Democrats giving the wrong election date.
These are all symptoms of a Republican party in decline, using ever-more-desperate tactics to retain power as their policies become increasingly odious and unpopular, and while national demographics go against them. America is becoming an increasingly diverse and liberal country. Multi-ethnic couples and families are commonplace. Younger generations accept LGBTQ peers far more easily and readily than older generations. But the Republican party is becoming older, whiter, and more male by the day. It’s just a matter of time before the demographics overwhelm the ability of the GOP’s dirty tricks to retain the levers of power.
But we’re not there yet. We still have to be pro-active in keeping our friends and neighbors registered to vote and motivated to get to the polls. Republicans in our area haven’t been as actively pursuing dirty tricks as they have in, say, Georgia, but we have to remain vigilant. A recent report by Kevin Morris of the Brennan Center for Justice took a look at voter purge rates in every single county in America, and it had contained interesting data on our area. Here’s the link:
Of the ten counties that comprise the NY-19 region, several have voter purge rates above 5%. Ulster County has a purge rate of 5.4% and Schoharie has a purge rate of 5.5%. However, Rensselaer County has the highest purge rate, coming in at a whopping 9.5%. These are all concerning numbers and remind us how important it is to periodically check our registration status to make sure we haven’t been purged. You can do that here:
As we approach the 2020 election it will be important to encourage our friends and neighbors to check their status so there won’t be any surprises at the ballot box. Every vote matters. We have to do everything we can to resist Trump and “vote his ass out of office.”
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend.