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Voter suppression efforts get worse

Anita Slone



President Trump started talking about a “rigged” election back in June. Since then he, and Republicans across the country, have taken steps to do exactly that, to rig the election.

The effort actually began in earnest when Republicans selected their voters with gerrymandered voting districts. Just a glance at the map of Wisconsin legislative districts reveals the convoluted logic employed when drawing district boundaries. Then came purging names from lists of voters. A total of 17 million names have been removed from voter lists around the nation since 2016.

Justin Clark, one of Trump’s reelection advisors said, “Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much better-funded program.”

More recently, Trump campaign advisors have helped Kanye West get on the ballot in several swing states, including Wisconsin, hoping to drain votes from Biden. Concerned about increased voter participation through mail-in voting, Trump has taken steps to make it as difficult as possible for the post office to get the ballots in on time to be counted. He became directly involved in voter suppression by refusing additional funding for the Post Office and supporting a major campaign donor, Louis DeJoy, as Postmaster General. DeJoy displaced 23 top postal executives, centralizing his authority. He then curtailed overtime, reduced staff, implemented a hiring freeze, and ordered the removal of 671 high-speed letter sorting machines. This is done 11 weeks before an election, during a pandemic, and knowing millions of voters will be expecting their ballots to arrive in time to be counted.

Slowing the mail puts seniors and veterans depending on Social Security, VA benefits, and prescription drugs at risk. It is a sad day when the President of the United States makes an unabashed attempt to suppress the vote of American citizens in addition to sabotaging one of America’s premier institutions.