Voter Suppression: A Critique Of Democracy In The United States

Voter Suppression: A Critique Of Democracy In The United States

What kind of democracy prevents its constituents from having a voice?

227
views

The 2018 midterm elections were definitely one for the books. Millennials and Generation-Z voters took the stage by storm, making the young adult voter turnout in 2018 one hundred and eighty-eight percent that of the young voter turnout in 2014. And that's just in early voting. Early voting was five times higher in 2018 than in 2014 in both Texas and Nevada, turning close and contested Senate races in their favor. Ever since the U.S. Census Bureau started keeping track of voter-age data (1978 for midterm races and 1964 for presidential races), 18-29 year-olds have had the lowest voter turnout out of any age group. This election saw such a huge increase in young voter turnout that some predicted that the youth vote would predict the outcome for this year's election.

After the historic results of the 2018 midterm elections, including the two Muslim-American women elected to Congress and 153 LGBT candidates winning their respective races, it would seem that the 2018 elections were a testament to modern democracy in the United States. However, through all of these unforeseen victories, the issues of voter suppression and election tampering during these midterms were overlooked in favor of praising democracy and increased turnout.

Yes, young adult voters made a it a point to make their way to the polls. Was it easy for them? Not even close…

It's been proven that because six of ten millennials supported Democrats in 2016, Republicans are trying as hard as possible to suppress young voter turnout—several of the recent Republican-led voter reforms targeted the youth vote. Since the 2010 midterms, 24 states implemented some kind of voting restriction. 21 of these 24 states were passed by a Republican legislature. In 2016, students trying to vote in purple states, such as North Carolina and Wisconsin, were forced to cast hundreds of provisional ballots or were simply turned away from the polls because their out-of-state IDs did not meet the new identification laws.

Texas removed more than 400 polling locations between 2013 and 2016, forcing students and other young adults to wait for hours in order to cast their ballots. The remaining polling places were scarcely found and inconveniently located, placing young and black voters at a disadvantage to vote due to lack of car ownership.

In Maryland, election officials told students that they could not register to vote if they listed their college as their address of residence—students were told that since their on-campus housing location was not a permanent address, they were ineligible to vote in their school's district. This contributed to the widespread occurrence of misinformation targeted towards college students, dubbed as "systematic suppression." In addition to this, students were also often told that they could lose financial aid and scholarships if they voted in any county other than their home county—another fact that is 100% untrue but was spread by the Baltimore County Board of Elections.

These instances are not restricted to the states of Texas and Maryland—there has been evidence of attempted voter suppression targeting college students in the states of Arizona and New Hampshire as well. It seems obvious that the people pushing for these supposed election "reforms" (*cough* Republican lawmakers *cough*) are afraid of the effect college students and millennials can and will have on the outcomes of elections. They may try to make voting near-impossible for students, but they are not prepared for the sheer willpower that we all have to make our voices heard and make a difference in who is in charge of our country.

America is praised for our democracy (or at least, it used to be), but no proper country claiming to have a democracy can legitimately try to prevent people from making their voices, opinions, and beliefs heard. Everyone has the right to vote (someone please get these lawmakers to read through the Constitution and its Amendments—they might learn a thing or two), and the people who have the most time left to spend living here are definitely not going to be the people who let old politicians prevent them from making a difference.

Popular Right Now

I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.
743366
views

"A man told me to have a good day... I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in because that is the extent of modern day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote: "I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "We can do it!" but realistically speaking in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly, and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of a war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25 year olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Passions And The Pursuit of Happiness

Recent years have put the principles of idealism on a pedestal, drawing the spotlight of human motivation and decision to the pursuit of passions and dreams.

69
views

As a newly christened college student, the first question on everyone's minds is about my major. The answer somewhat disappoints them, as if they were expecting an outlandish response, but got hit with a routine dose of yet another aspiring business student. I know, how boring and unoriginal. This inevitably leads to a follow-up question or statement, which can roughly be summarised - "well I guess if you're passionate about that…" - almost condescendingly, as if its a merely superficial, unoriginal choice. Perhaps it is. But it is with good reason.

"Don't ever let somebody tell you-you can't do something, not even me. Alright? You dream, you gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you-you can't do it. If you want something, go get it." Period. – Chris Gardner, from The Pursuit of Happyness

Recent years have put the principles of idealism on a pedestal, drawing the spotlight of human motivation and decision to the pursuit of passions and dreams. This advice is seemingly ubiquitous, with college and career counselors, friends, and family alike are advising the current generation to seek their fantasies. This trend of putting short-term emotions in charge of decision making, favoring it over other attributes such as prudence and realism, sets a dangerous precedent for individuals to make major life decisions without carefully deliberating the consequences of their actions.

Of course, it is imperative to have somewhat of an interest in your work, as otherwise, it would soon become an unbearable chore, however, your studies or your job does not have to be the most "fun" thing in your life. More importantly, just because you find something fun or interesting, does not necessarily translate to it being a wise and sustainable career choice, and may not necessarily make you as happy in the long run.

In the day and age of a highly competitive job market, it is more essential than ever to have increasingly high qualifications and to cater to the needs of society. Diversifying into a variety of fields is great, but one must consider the practicality of obtaining a job in the future while making such decisions. If these factors are not heeded, it creates what economists call a "skills gap" - the difference between the qualifications and requirements of the economy, versus the actual qualifications and technical knowledge of potential employees. A mismatch between the two results in a hindrance in the economic growth and prosperity of a region or country.

Another reason why one must be cautious about this advice is that people have a misconception that doing something you like will somehow make the work seem easier. Spoiler alert: it does not. This results in people giving up easily, without persistence.

Furthermore, focusing on following a single passion makes people less likely to consider new potential areas of interest. This close-minded view can be detrimental to the success of the individual and the success of communities.

Passion is not a fixed quantity. One day, you may find yourself interested in something else. Is it worth gambling and going all in into one thing, that has the potential to backfire in the long run?

Therefore, you should choose to pursue a career in which you'd be good at what you do. Sure, you might be slightly more interested in something else, but is it really worth spending so much time, energy, and money to struggle through it, and eventually realize you made the wrong decision? Is it worth trading the long-term happiness for some short-term euphoria?

In today's world, it is easier than ever to maintain a hobby or a secondary profession in something that you are truly passionate about. So whenever someone tells you to follow your passions, think about it. Is it really the wisest choice? Would that truly make you happy?

Or, perhaps you might prefer to give more weight to the short term happiness, because in the immortal words of the father of modern economics, John Maynard Keynes, "in the long run, we are all dead."

Related Content

Facebook Comments