I think we all can agree that the 2018 midterm elections are critical. This means that our votes matter more now than ever. But what happens when you’ve registered and are ready to participate in this good ol’ democracy but can’t?
Let’s talk about voter suppression.
Voter suppression is simple—it’s a set of tactics used to block voters from exercising their right to vote. And there’s a long, long history of voter suppression in the United States.
Black men were allowed to vote after the Civil War thanks to the 15th Amendment, which was ratified in 1870. Because of Jim Crow laws, black folks were forced to take literacy tests and pay poll taxes, among other barriers to voting.
Fast forward to 2018. Today, voter suppression can come in the form of voter ID laws, voter roll purges, voting place closures and robocalls that intentionally misinform voters, to name a few.
Before 2006—pre-Obama!—none of the 50 states required voters to provide ID to vote. Today, 34 states request or require that you have some sort of ID. Georgia has “Exact Match.” As the name of the law suggests, the name on your ID must exactly match your name, as printed on your voter registration. No variations, no misspellings. And sadly, voter suppression tactics this election cycle don’t stop with Georgia.
See the entire video above.