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!”
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 votersuppression.net, 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!