How did this happen? In true Trump Fashion, Georgia’s current Secretary Of State, Republican Brian Kemp, hurriedly passed an “Exact Match” policy. The policy immediately purges all registrations with even the slightest discrepancies from public record, such as hyphenations in surnames, misspelled street names or those have recently moved within the state but haven’t updated a government record. Investigative journalist Greg Palast that Indiana has ultimately purged an overwhelming 469,000 voters, collectively.
Brian Kemp has a strong motivation to repress the votes in primarily black counties, especially given his democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, was polling surprising well in the staunch red state.
Abrams also happens to be a black woman.
Rather than risk the possibility of a record turn out for black Americans during the midterms, Kemp decided to take no chances and instituted the last-minute policy as a deliberate voter deterrent and, in many cases complete disqualification of votes.
It seems this is becoming a terrifying trend as Indiana, home of Vice President Mike Pence who is famous for intentionally suppressing votes in majority black communities over and over, has purged 469,000 voter registrations as of today. This was done in in violation of a June 2018 federal court order that barred the state from using an Interstate Crosscheck purge list sent to state officials by Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas who Vice President Pence has voraciously endorsed despite his questionable ethics.
The move to unjustly alienate American citizens from participating in the upcoming elections by Kris Kobach, especially people of color, resulted in the NAACP and the League of Women Voters filing a lawsuit, which they won. Kobach, however, carried on with his voter purge anyway.
In Ohio, U.S. District Judge George C. Smith rejected a suit brought against the state by voter’s rights groups who stated that a politically bias purge has resulted the removal of countless registrations from it’s polls. The groups deemed the purge as a violation of constitutional rights, but the Judge upheld the States policy anyway.
Republicans tried doubly hard to stop the Black vote in Alabama as Trump tried to push through accused pedophile Roy Moore to a Senate win- it didn’t work. Women and people of color turned out in record numbers to elect his opponent Doug Jones instead. They alone carried Jones to victory in the traditionally unwavering red state. Moore was so outraged over the loss in spite of having President Trump’s endorsement that he refused to concede.
Republicans around the country realize that they could potentially suffer grave damage as a consequence for two horrific years of emboldened racism, misogyny and bigotry under the the Trump Administration. In response to this, we have seen a record number of women candidates, racially diverse candidates and LGBT candidates running for seats across all branches of government at both state and federal levels. There is no question that if every minority community across the Nation stood against the divisive and dangerous Republican regime, they could win, thus Republicans in office seem to be resorting to extreme measures to protect their positions.
In New York City, 28 year old Puerto Rican Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent shockwaves through the political terrain when she won the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district defeating the incumbent Congressman, Joe Crowley, for a seat he held since 2013.
Last year, Virginia’s Danica Roem became the first transgender woman to win a seat in senate, ousting Robert G. Marshall, the very man who authored the controversial anti-trans bathroom bill.
This election will determine the long-term fate of America’s future generations, and given how vital this midterm is, Republicans seem willing to throw the democratic process under the bus to maintain power at any cost.
That cost, of course, will come at the expense of women, people of color and the LGBT communities.