We all know (or should know) of this year’s illegal purging of voter rolls, curtailing of early voting to keep working people from getting to the polls, the requirement of and charging for picture IDs accompanied by the closing of DMVs in Democratic districts to prevent those who might vote Democratic from obtaining the necessary ID. No need to get into more detail about that here.
But here are some additional things you might be interested to know:
–According to Carmen Berkely, of the Generational Alliance, 54 percent of young voters turned out in 2008, and they are as thoroughly engaging with political issues this year. But people just turning 18, for whom this will be their first election, may not know what requirements they must meet to register. They’re still in school, and may not have a driver’s license or know their social security number. They are also harder to locate in order to register them and, when in college, the location where they plan to register may not correspond to where they are. With the goal of “meeting people where they’re at,” Berkely suggests creative approaches such as the use of social media, and even voter registration parties, to reach them.
–Clarissa Martinez, of the National Council of La Raza, says we need to “put voters back in the driver’s seat,” that no politician should be able to change the rules in order to make themselves win. According to Martinez, , La Raza has registered 70,337 voters this year thus far, about 45,000 in Florida.
This, and much, much more was covered today at the AFL-CIO book series, which featured a panel discussion by Wang, Martinez, and Berkeley of Wang’s book, The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding Americans’ Right to Vote. The panel was moderated by AFL-CIO Executive VIce President Arlene Holt Baker.