Friday Feminist Fuck You: Voter Suppression

Transcript after the jump

Miriam: Hi everyone, welcome to the third edition of Ann and my Friday Feminist Fuck You. Today we’re gonna say “fuck you” to voter suppression.
Ann: Yeah, fuck you.
Miriam: It’s a big concern in this election because of the large number of new voters, and particularly a large group of them who are traditionally disenfranchised voters who haven’t voted before. People who have been voting all their lives, who know where their polling place is, they’re not as much at risk for voter suppression. It’s these new voters and disenfranchised populations who are at big risk. So Ann and I are gonna talk about five different examples that we’ve heard of voter suppression tactics.
The first affects victims of Hurricane Katrina. A lot of people had to flee their homes when Katrina happened, went to states outside of Louisiana and didn’t have any documentation with them, so the first thing they did is get a driver’s license or some form of ID. Well, in a lot of states, when you sign up for a driver’s license, they automatically ask you if you want to register to vote. So these people ended up registered to vote in more than one state, usually by accident. And now what states are doing is they’re comparing their voter rolls, and if you’re on two states’ voter rolls, you’re being purged completely, so you’re no longer registered to vote in any state. So that’s a big concern.
Ann: Not good.
Miriam: Another example of voter suppression has been some instances of voter intimidation at the polls. People go to polling places and yell things at voters as they go in, make them uncomfortable, so people maybe don’t want to vote at all.
Ann: It’s the abortion clinic strategy.
Miriam: Yeah, not a good one. Then lastly, we’re hearing that — apparently it’s not the first time — in Virginia, some Democratic voters, particularly in a historically African American community, were being sent letters saying, “Hey there’s too many people voting, Democrats, vote on November 5 instead of November 4!”
Ann: Bullshit.
Miriam: Bullshit. Illegal, and obviously a ploy to get those voters to not vote.
Ann: In addition, in Michigan the chair of the state Republican party was saying that people who had lost their homes to foreclosure were technically no longer residents of their county or district, and therefore unable to vote. That if your home was foreclosed upon, you would be purged from the rolls. Clearly a voter suppression tactic.
The last one we want to talk about is not an overt suppression tactic, but Republicans have repeatedly decried voter-registration groups like ACORN, implying that anyone who’s doing work to register a historically disenfranchised population is somehow committing a fraud. Without many specific charges that this is actually happening. That works by discounting the works that these groups do to reg new voters, an overall has a detrimental impact on the vote.
So we want to recommend, which has an action center and places you can log in if you experience or hear about any of these tactics.
There’s also a good portion of this — it’s our last Fuck You/Yeah before the election. We want to say fuck YEAH to voting in general, because voting is pretty feminist. Fuck yeah to voting, fuck yeah to people who are registering new voters, fuck yeah to this historic election and people who are voting for the first time. We think that’s awesome.
Miriam: Fuck yeah. Go vote!

Join the Conversation

  • erica

    I work with ex-offenders in Oregon, where folks on probation and parole are allowed to vote. It was big news to some of these guys that ex-offenders can vote in some states, and many of them are voting for the first time in this election. Not only are they psyched to vote in the presidential election, but they are casting theirs on two controversial prison reform measures that are up this election. It’s absolutely inspiring to see.
    If anyone is or knows of an ex-offender who wants to vote, check out your state’s statutes on the subject at ACLU’s handy map:

  • puckalish

    Thanks for posting on this… I’ve been kind of amazed… more than kind of amazed at all of this stuff that’s been going on lately – changing early voting times, machines that won’t allow people to place votes for democrats, and so on… geez, and that website is mad informative – if somewhat scary, but, well, what should I expect on halloween?


    I just want to also put in a plug for the Election Protection hotline – 866-OUR-VOTE (more info here: Please tell all your friends and family to have that number handy when they go to the polls and call and report any shenanigans that they see or any problems that they have accessing the polls. The hotline is staffed by legal professionals who are familiar with the election regulations in your state who can empower voters to overcome these bullshit disenfranchisement attempts.

  • lydia

    Voter suppression and voter fraud. About as anti-american (and anti-democracy) as you can get.

  • AVies

    Ew, yes. The Virginia tactics are especially disgusting; you can’t even claim that you’re trying to prevent imaginary fraud.

  • unapologetic feminist

    Amazing youtube video about misogyny in the mainstream media:

  • the anglerfish

    Wow! That was really informative! Thanks you two! I had never really thought of the home foreclosure or Hurricane Katrina as places where voter suppression could occur.

  • Blue

    I would just like to add that one can register the DAY OF the election – one needs to show up at the appropriate polling location with an ID with their current address, or an ID with their previous address in addition to a utility bill with their current address. I believe at least in some cases you can also have a neighbor vouch for you regarding your address if you do not have a utility bill. Hopefully people who have lost their homes recently are aware they can do this, and will get out there and vote! :)

  • Blue

    Durrr … Silly me thinking that was a national rule. I decided to check, AFTER posting, of course … You an only register the day of the election in Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, & Wyoming. But hey, people with foreclosed homes in those states can still get out there and vote! And perhaps this would be a good time to push for federalizing this rule!