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    Thursday, August 17, 2017

    The GOP Assault On Voting Rights Continue

    I have written many times about the erosion of our democracy under the relentless attacks from Republicans for the last quarter century at least. Under Trump, the assault on voting rights is actually increasing on both the federal and state levels.

    In Indiana, Republican members of local election boards have continually blocked the extension of early voting in the most heavily Democratic district in the state. Meanwhile, early voting in predominately Republican areas has actually increased, resulting in higher early voting turnout among Republicans and lower turnout among Democrats.

    The reason this could happen is that state law requires the extension of early voting to be unanimously approved by local election boards. Democrats, who actually believe in the right to vote and extension of the franchise, will approve early voting in Republican as well as Democratic districts. Republicans, on the other hand, rely on voter suppression to maintain their grip on power and routinely block early voting in heavily Democratic districts.

    Meanwhile, down in Texas, federal courts have ruled that the election districts in that state were illegally racially gerrymandered for the seventh time since 2011, when the original illegal maps were drawn. After those original maps were challenged in court, new maps went into effect in 2013. After another four years of legal wrangling, those maps have now also been ruled illegal. In effect, elements of the Texas electorate have been voting under an illegal and unconstitutional system for the last three election cycles. And there is no redress for that.

    This sets up yet another battle as the state is now required to draw new maps for the 2018 election. The GOP strategy to resolve this issue in the near term will probably to engage in more legal delaying tactics, trying to drag the process out so that the existing maps will have to be used once again in 2018. It is a tactic that was successfully used in North Carolina previously.

    On the federal level, Trump's "Electoral Integrity" Commission is determined to scrub as many voters from the polls as it can. In addition, it refuses to fight the increased requirement of voter ID as well as state election roll purges.

    The anti-democratic nature of the Electoral College combined with the Republican reliance on voter suppression to continue to win elections is making our country less and less democratic each day. And, accordingly, the faith that our citizens have in democracy is falling.

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