Americans talk a good game about voting, so much so that our soldiers are regularly sent off to fight and die in foreign lands so people who’ve never had democracy can use it once and then throw it away. But maybe Americans really don’t understand voting. If they did, not only would we turnout in presidential election years at far higher rates than we do, but Midterm elections, like the one this year, wouldn’t turn into a civics gone bad as more Americans who are eligible to vote don’t.
Republicans, of course, are the ones who regularly and confidently want to tackle every world sore spot with massive military intervention. They are also the party that passes bills and spends ungodly amounts of cash to keep voters from voting. This year is no different from years past. Ohio, the biggest battleground state of the dozen that hold the fate of any presidential hopeful in their hands, has ventured again where every GOP crazy bent on holding the vote down has gone before. Despite minor skirmishes at the edges of profoundly myopic and misguided policy, Gov. John Kasich has signed into law every voter suppression bill that’s been sent to him from a hard-right Republican legislature that agrees with him on every harmful position he holds.
Gen Murphy, get out the vote director for the Ohio Democratic Party, said there are fewer voting days and hours due to Republican attempts to suppress voter turnout. “That’s why, when Early Voting starts on October 7th, we have to be ready to run up the score and position our candidates to win on Election Day,” Murphy said recently with a month left until Election Day arrives. “Ohio Democrats have always known we will win this thing on the ground,” she said via email. “Help us equip our field team for the work of turning out our voters!”
Election watchers know registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by about 800,000 voters. But GOP candidates know that gamesmanship is their one great chance to win if fewer and fewer Democratic voters show up to vote. This is what all the election law changes and wealthy donor money dumped into democracy is designed to do. It’s probably long passed due that America follow the example of Australia, where mandatory voting is in effect and working well. Just imagine, everybody has to vote. Republicans would faint dead away if that were the case here. If everybody has to vote, they might never win a fair and honest election. But that isn’t the case so far, so they can continue their expensive and effective proposition to make it hard to vote so they can win.
Democrats regularly whine about suppressing the vote, but then regularly don’t vote. So if the blame game is played, where’s the real blame fall? GOP big buck donors and their Stepford-wives candidates win more often than not because Dem voters succumb to Rip Van Winkle syndrome, becoming part of the problem instead of the solution.
Get out the vote? Easier said than done. But it can be done. A month away from Election Day, voting becomes even more important.