Polling places become battleground in U.S. voting rights fight


#1

Reuters:

Polling places become battleground in U.S. voting rights fight

Louis Brooks, 87, has walked to cast a vote at his neighborhood polling place in Georgia’s predominantly black Lincoln Park neighborhood for five decades. But not this year.
Brooks says he will not vote in the presidential election for the first time he can remember after local officials moved the polling station more than 2 miles (3 km) away as part of a plan to cut the number of voting sites in Upson County.
“I can’t get there. I can’t drive, and it’s too far to walk,” said Brooks, a black retired mill worker and long-time Democratic Party supporter. He said he does not know how to vote by mail and doesn’t know anyone who can give him a ride.
A Reuters survey found local governments in nearly a dozen, mostly Republican-dominated counties in Georgia have adopted plans to reduce the number of voting stations, citing cost savings and efficiency.
In seven of those counties, African-Americans, who traditionally back Democrats, comprised at least a quarter of the population, and in several counties the changes will disproportionately affect black voters. At least three other counties in Georgia dropped consolidation plans under public pressure.
While polling place cutbacks are on the rise across the country, including in some Democratic-run areas, the South’s history of racial discrimination has made the region a focus of concern for voting rights advocates.

Activists see the voting place reductions as another front in the fight over Republican-sponsored statewide voting laws such as stricter ID requirements that disproportionately affect minority and poorer voters who tend to vote for the Democratic Party.
Several of these have recently been struck down by courts that ruled they were designed to hinder minority voting.
“There is a history in those states of using different strategies to cut voting in minority communities,” said Leah Aden, senior counsel at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Education Fund.
“Hogwash,” said Robert Haney, chairman of the Upson County Board of Elections, denying that race was a factor in his board’s decision.
“Nobody is trying to keep anybody from voting,” said Haney, adding that officials would send a ballot to the home of anyone who needed it. He said the cut in polling sites from nine to four was designed to increase efficiency by closing low-turnout sites, saving about $20,000.

Wow! They saved a whole $20,000, what devotion to guarding the public purse. Maybe they’ll find a budgetary reason to close the streets where the remaining polling stations are located.


#2

To be fair that county only has around 20,000 adult residents if I read the stats correctly. Depending on how elections and poling places are funded that might be a fairly significant portion of their election budget especially if the polling places are only drawing a small number of people. My town has over 45,000 adults and we only have 4 or 5 polling places, or almost 2x what the reduced polling in Upson County will have.

He is allowed to use a mail-in ballot, but it is not the county’s problem if he doesn’t understand how to use it. We heard the same thing when we moved from punch to electronic ballots. I’m sure the democrats will have a van to go pick him up like they have done is other areas.


#3

Appears Trump finally got something right…the election might be rigged…in his favor!


#4

And they say conservatives see conspiracies everywhere they look. One man who refuses to learn how to vote by mail does not a fixed election make.


#5

It really doesn’t matter…local democrats have agreed to set up car pools, or fund Uber rides for voters in the area, so it all better now.


#6

Wow! Saving money and fewer black voters. I guess that’s what Republicans call a win/win.


#7

It must be tiring to be someone who is always seeing conspiracies in every shadow. Of course I doubt the Democrats would setup Uber or carpools for black republicans in the same area, but equal access to voting is only about equal access for people voting for your cause I guess.


#8

He’s never had to travel 2 miles before, can’t arrange transportation for such a short distance ? I guess the only thing more horrifyingly racist would be if someone had the audacity to ask him for his ID :smiley:


#9

And wouldn’t you know it, neither the Republicans nor the Democrats care about third-party candidates. But that’s okay, because the two party system keeps on giving us such wonderful, qualified candidates to choose from. :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

Now that you mention it, it’s likely a plot by the major pates to suppress 3rd party voters. :wink:


#11

Strange, I have to travel 16 MILES to vote.


#12

they will, and the cost will be of little consequence, because the GOP seem to have few black voters, few college educated voters, few Hispanic voters, and few women voters.:smiley:


#13

Reuters? They are almost as reliable as childhood rumors.

Seriously, the Reuters reporter could give him a ride to the polls. This man has no family? No neighbors? No friends? No retired co-workers? No ‘black votes matter’ van pools? He lives on an island and has no boat? Both thumbs have been amputated?

After ‘thorough canvassing’, Reuters could locate no white Republican in a similar circumstance?

Really?

But, it does sell the media!


#14

This is why I am very glad voting is mandatory in Australia (Unless they are Jehovah Witness or something). It makes sense too I think, as we all live in this Country, we all should be voting, if you don’t want to vote for anyone, than don’t vote for anyone, but you still have to show up and get your name crossed off (The ones who don’t want to vote simply don’t tick any boxes and submit it, but they still have to show up and cast their vote).

Because when everyone has to vote (Or at least show up), it stops people being able to use tactics like this and others that would see people lose their vote.

When we vote, there are more than enough close by voting booths for people to vote (They use public school halls to set up the voting booths in every town over the weekend, and you can also vote early in town over the week) and they go out of their way to make sure even the most remote people get their vote.

That way people can’t use subtle tactics to stop Australians (Or certain Australians) from voting or vice versa and it’s a more accurate result of the people (Rather than just those who are passionate about politics or a certain issue going out of their way to get a vote and perhaps being able to deter others from voting through subtle and sinister ways).

I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading
Josh


#15

That’s ridiculous (and so wrong) I think. :frowning:


#16

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