Voting Suppression - Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-15
Voting Suppression - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Politics Political science
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 629 words
6 min read

Voter suppression is a plan/strategy used to influence an election's results by discouraging, demotivating, or preventing specific groups of people from voting or registering as voters (Hajnal et al. 371). It attempts to reduce the number of voters who might vote against a candidate or an idea. In a nutshell, it is an attempt to depress the participation of voters in an election. Voter suppression aimed at the target group remains prevalent in America. I agree with this statement, as it is evident in all elections. This essay seeks to expound on how voter suppression is still practiced in America.

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First, voter suppression is done through voter intimidation and poll watching. A party sends its supporters to polling stations to watch over the voting process. These supporters spread false information about voting laws and requirements and, in most cases, interrupt early voting in the stations (Hirano and James 7). Secondly, foreign interference occurs when foreign countries cause fear American citizens by threatening them with dire consequences if they do not vote for their preferred candidates. Another aspect is voter purging. This is a process meant to remove voters who have died or moved houses from the voter register. It is, however, too keenly scrutinized that it penalizes voters who had not voted previously.

Another key indicator of the existence of voter suppression is the voter ID law. Some states require voters to have a concealed-handgun license to access the ballot and not a student ID. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, states in America require voters to have government-issued photo identification to vote. This kind of identification is expensive to acquire in terms of documentation required for its acquisition, meaning that low-income earners cannot acquire it and are locked out of the voting process. It is estimated that 11% of potential voters. Voting suppression also happens legally, where lawmakers pass laws that make it difficult for some groups to vote. For instance, the Shelby County 2013 case enabled states to control their voting laws (Greenbaum et al. 813). Therefore, any new voting law in a state does not require assessing the law's effects on voters in that particular state. Finally, we have the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which are used to misinform citizens to interfere with voting or/and voter registration. A good example is spreading information on change of certain polling stations in s given region, knowing very well there were no changes at all. We know that social media is, these days, easily assessable by most people, meaning information can spread fast and within a short time.

However, all is not lost as there are some measures put in place to reduce voting suppression. One of these measures is letting the voters know that nobody has a right to harass them no matter the party they support. Any harassment can be reported to a poll worker or the relevant hotlines provided, such as the US Department of Justice voting rights hotline (1-800-253-3931).

In conclusion, it is evident that voter suppression in America prevails, and it requires a lot of effort and convincing for its complete eradication. The fact that some cases of suppression are legal, as with the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, makes it even more challenging to do away with.

Works Cited

Greenbaum, Jon, Alan Martinson, and Sonia Gill. "Shelby County v. Holder: When the Rational Becomes Irrational." Howard LJ 57 (2013): 811-825.

Hajnal, Zoltan, Nazita Lajevardi, and Lindsay Nielson. "Voter identification laws and the suppression of minority votes." The Journal of Politics 79.2 (2017): 363-379.

Hirano, Shigeo, and James M. Snyder Jr. "The decline of third-party voting in the United States." The Journal of Politics 69.1 (2007): 1-16.

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