The practice of voting in this country is as old as the country itself, but so is the iniquitous act of voter suppression.
It is commonly known that voter suppression played a huge role in American history especially before the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s. Black Americans were kept away from the polls through wicked and ill-intended legislation that specifically targeted minority groups. Laws such as the poll tax, literary tests, The Grandfather Clause, and constitutional quizzes all were put into place with the same morally evil intent to prevent minorities from voting. Although these outwardly racially charged practices have been repealed via the 15th amendment, voter suppression is far from eradication in this country even in 2020.
Since 2010, 25 American states have passed laws that make it harder for the population to vote. These have been statistically right-leaning states with Republican governors on the basis of "voter fraud." Voter fraud has been the justification for all modern voter restriction legislation but actually exists on a very minuscule scale today. There have been hundreds of extensive investigations on the occurrence of voter fraud in the United States, and all of them have turned up an extraordinary scarcity of evidence. This means that voter fraud is actually not a problem at all, but is still used as fuel for the fire that is voter suppression. The motive for reducing voter participation lies in past elections with low voter turnouts favoring Republican party leaders.
Voter fraud investigations are still held today but are significantly more concentrated on minority populations. Why? Because they are intimidation tactics. Intimidation in and of itself is a form of voter suppression since it is meant to genuinely scare away people from voting. Not to mention factors such as scarcity of polling places and the cost of voter IDs all prevent a very substantial portion of the population from voting. Over a thousand polling places have closed down in the past decade when voter turnout is more critical and election determining than ever. There are counties in Texas that are larger than several U.S states combined that only have one polling place to submit ballots to. And with election day still yet to be declared a National holiday, the working population is unable to travel exorbitantly long distances during a brief lunch break. All these factors combined purposely culminate in financial strains and the bane of voting for lower-income minority populations: the intended target of voter suppression techniques.
How can a country consider itself a democracy for the people when it repeatedly only favors the interests of the wealthy and white?
The disenfranchised minority population has always been the intended victim of voter suppression, and still is today.