Opinion | For Black Votes to Count, Don’t Ignore In-Person Voting

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Opinion | For Black Votes to Count, Don’t Ignore In-Person Voting

This is especially true for black voters. For the Black Community, voting in person is a solemn and reverent act of historic importance. Our suffrage heroes like John Lewis were severely beaten or died trying to secure the right to vote. Today we encounter voter suppression tactics that become more virulent with each election. Without the full force of the suffrage law, which was decimated by the Supreme Court seven years ago and still not restored by Congress, electoral repression has become widespread and relentless.

In this light, the symbolism of placing the voting slip in the box cannot be overstated. It represents the peak of democratic participation. Therefore black voters tend to prefer personal vote; in the 2018 mid-term elections, 11 percent of black voters cast their ballots in the mail, compared with 24 percent of white voters. And that’s exactly why we need to protect personal voting – both from coronavirus and from repression.

Voter suppression against African Americans is in full swing this year. This is the second presidential election without the full protection of the voting rights law and it is showing. Thirty-six states have voter ID laws and voter cleanups are at one All time high. ONE study Last year the southern states were found to have closed nearly 1,200 polling stations since the Supreme Court overturned the voting rights law. In Kentucky primaryHundreds of thousands of voters – many of them black – were assigned to just one polling station. One recently study The different waiting times have shown what proponents of the vote have long known: voters in color communities wait longer to vote.

In addition, blacks know that their ballots are rejected more often than whites study The Florida elections in 2018 found that ballots cast by minorities were twice as likely to be rejected as by whites. In Georgia civil rights groups sued Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Gwinnett County in 2018 for their high rate of rejection of minority votes in 2018 – the rejection rate was 2.5 percent for white voters and 8 percent for black voters.

Black voters know that face-to-face voting increases the chances that their ballots will be accepted and properly evaluated. Failure to adequately prepare for personal voting can result in the color communities being robbed of both voice and health. Congress should give the $ 4 billion we have requested to states and communities to ensure that voting – whether in person or by mail – is fair, safe, and secure. Each option requires significant financial support. we cannot raise one at the expense of another.

When it comes to postal ballot and postal ballot, every state should establish apology-free postal voting, eligible for all voters, and employ practices to ensure that postal ballots are sent, received and counted on time. Unpleasant demands on witnesses or notaries to observe voters who apply for and fill out postal votes exclude color voters disproportionately and should be discarded. The U.S. Postal Service needs to prepare for the onslaught of ballot papers and ditch sweeping changes by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy that are based on partisanship and subject to several legal challenges, including one submitted by the NAACP.

However, mail-in voting cannot replace personal voting. Jurisdictions should have adequate polling stations large enough to allow social distancing. Polling stations should be rehabilitated and properly staffed and given resources. We need to identify “problem areas” where the lines are routinely long and have a plan to address them in advance. The NAACP recruits election workers and observers to ensure that the democratic machinery is working as smoothly as possible. Paper votes, which are more secure and reliable, should be used in place of touchscreen devices.

The early voting should be expanded. Unfortunately, ten states including Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina still don’t allow it. If available, voters can vote in person by voting early at a polling station or local polling station, avoiding long queues and the post altogether. Even ballot papers that are mailed to voters can be filled out and returned by hand to a polling station or placed in mailboxes, which are in high demand due to fears that the postal service will not deliver ballots on time.

At higher risk for coronavirus and voter repression, black voters face dual threats to democracy this year. No wonder 71 percent of black Americans believe White voters have an easier time voting.

If ever we needed more options for participating in democracy, it is now. All citizens deserve to be able to cast their votes and to have confidence in the integrity of our elections. In a highly competitive election where the future of our democracy is at stake, Americans must trust that everyone can vote freely and safely wherever they choose.

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