And so let us consider what The Russian Usurper considers a big win: making it more difficult for Americans to vote.
Our user manual, The United States Constitution, does not have a uniform standard on who is eligible to vote and so that detail is left to the states, and boy-howdy, is that all over the place. In some states everyone who was born here is allowed to vote, other states ban felons (even if they have done their time and paid their debt to society), and their are lots of local variations in between. The Jim Crow years forced African Americans off the voter registration and made it immensely difficult to vote.
Make no mistake: this big victory is another Republican success to disenfranchise voters, especially Democrats (who are not consistent voters, especially in off-presidential years), and especially poor people (and read into that whatever you want) who face real logistical obstacles to voting.
In essence, the Ohio System says that if you miss a vote—for whatever reason—you will be removed from voter registration at the next election. Of course they will contact you at your last known address, but not responding means that your franchise is gone. You must re-register before you can vote, and that’s when the fun starts all over again with IDs and proof of citizenship and everything else they can throw at you.
Now, on might think that in a democracy, the goal might be to make it easier to vote, AND to make it more likely that one does vote, but instead forces are aligned to make it more difficult to vote.
So what do we do, you ask?
- First, be pragmatic: check that you are registered to vote right now, in the 2018 Pie Fight. The mischief starts today. Everyone, everywhere, not just in Ohio.
- Contact your local representative. Make sure they know that you expect them to state clearly where they stand on this SCOTUS decision, and on the record.
- Contact your member of Congress. Demand legislation that nullifies this madness, for instance that nothing can take away a citizen’s franchise including a conviction. You are either a citizen or you are not.
- Demand that voting days are national holidays. Let’s make it easier to vote and to celebrate our democracy.
This is not a big win, this is a YUGE loss. And Comrade Trump’s crowing is just about the most un-American reaction I can imagine from a prznint.