Today is the big day when Alabama voters will decide whether they send a credibly accused child molester to the Senate or a Democrat. Actually, that is not true, because this southern state has a huge problem that may change the outcome of this close race.
The Alabama government prevents thousands of residents from voting – all to stop the imaginary group of people who try to vote illegally. Donald Trump believes this fantasy, because the truth that he lost the popular vote by three million is not one he chooses.
Voting is one of American citizens most basic rights, yet there is a large group of people that Alabama prevents from voting. Not surprisingly, most of them are black. Why is this important? Blacks tend to vote for Democratic candidates, and their vote in this election could have changed history.
Opinion writer for The New York Times, David Leonhardt wrote on the special Senate election day:
‘After a Supreme Court decision weakening the Voting Rights Act, Alabama passed a strict voter identification law, notes Slate’s Jamelle Bouie. The law at one point led to the closing of the offices that issue driver’s licenses in every county where more than 75 percent of registered voters were black. Driver’s licenses are, of course, the main form of voter identification.’
There is another way Republicans prevent people, once again the majority is black. If a person has been convicted of a felony in Alabama, he or she cannot vote.
Vann Newkirk II wrote in The Atlantic:
‘Voting has always been burdensome for black people in Alabama. Early voting, which has been a key factor for other states in increasing black turnout, is not permitted in Alabama. The state also doesn’t have no-fault absentee voting, preregistration for teens, or same-day registration. In all, it’s harder to vote in Alabama than just about anywhere else, a dynamic that should tend toward cooling the turnout of people who’ve only been allowed to vote in the state for 50 years.’
Leonhardt asks voters to consider the injustice in Alabama:
‘Before the results of the Alabama race are known, I encourage you to think about voting barriers in the state. Regardless of the outcome, the obstacles to democracy in Alabama are an injustice.’
He also pointed his readers toward Democratic activist Tom Perriello on Twitter:
‘I imagine Justice Roberts is appalled by Roy Moore, but he may well have cast the most important vote to get him elected. The new AL voter suppression laws are a direct result of his decision to gut the VRA and perhaps pave Moore’s path to the Senate.’
The New York Times opinion piece continued with a the results of a study:
‘An academic study suggests that the laws implemented since the Supreme Court decision have already reduced voter turnout in racially diverse parts of Alabama, Scott Douglas, the executive director of Greater Birmingham Ministries, explains in a Times op-ed.’
Alabama voters still can turn their election against Roy Moore and for Doug Jones. The key is heavy Democratic turnout.
Doug Jones has four little girls in his history, too. He prosecuted the man responsible for the Alabama bombing that killed them:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Joe Raedle