A lot of red flags and voter suppression
Election 2016 is heating up. Key issues for election 2016: voter suppression and immigration. Our concern is those states that add additional unwarranted requirements suppressing Blacks from voting but not Whites, with some using the question of undocumented immigrants as a smoke screen to cause suppression of Black votes, not to mention within-party voting as seen in reports from Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire’s precincts.
Presidential candidate Marco Rubio was the first to be bold and honest enough to begin to peel the covers off of the political onion of immigration, exposing challenges to immigration. We find that his findings mirror, in some cases, attempts to suppress Black voting: (1) nullification and reversal leading to variable voter ID requirements and other voting blocks, (2) old and new immigrants (often non-White), (3) the question of which path: to citizenship or to deportation, and (4) regarding old and new Black voters.
Voting in America is both a legal right and a personal privilege. In terms of immigration, key issues include identity differences and voting eligibility applied in some states to Blacks as well. Everyone assumes that on National Election Day in November (always the first Tuesday after the first Monday, so anywhere between the second and the eight day of the month), every citizen, regardless of color, will be able to exercise their right of voter participation. Depending on which state one resides, this can be a dangerous assumption for people of color, especially in states once a stronghold for Jim Crow laws and the Ku Klux Klan (the Twin Cities were once a major center of Ku Klux Klan activity in America).
Rubio’s parents were immigrants to the U.S. from Cuba. He understands. He is attempting to smoothly change America to accept and enable old and new non-White immigrants, which in some places interferes with long-time non-White citizens’ voting.
Citizenship in our founding documents is not based on color or country of origin but on the principles of freedom through integration and assimilation (although many assumed White). Our concern is for those still turned away from the polls.
Remember, the winner is the one with the most votes in the Electoral College, not general election votes. Thus, when the five or six most highly populated states are in any candidate’s column, they win. Court appeals after elections regarding voter exclusion or suppression are difficult to adjudicate.
We haven’t forgotten election 2000, when a troubling number of African American voters were turned away from the polls, as reported by analyses of voting data by federal and academic studies. Data shows any number of voters of color — especially Hispanic, African American, and undocumented immigrants — experienced similar problems in being turned away from the voting booth due to different criteria applied to identification, interaction with election judges, and other legal “issues” that can cause a voter to lose their voting rights, either at November’s national elections or on the way to the polls.
So we ask, how many provisional ballots in Minnesota will never be counted, qualified ballots supposedly set aside in case there is a challenge to the vote? Hey Minnesota, what are the specific guarantees for provisional challenges ballots of voters of color? And what kind of voter education is going on that could have serious election consequences regarding eligibility for immigrants and people of color?
We know that small amounts of funds are set aide for voter education and protection in late summer or early fall. We need to be ready to protect those in danger of losing their constitutionally protected right to participate.
We still need to be prepared.