A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Disenfranchised Voters

Hillary Clinton

I’m not talking here about Clinton’s policies on voter enfranchisement. That is important, and her policies are good — but today, I’m talking about something else.

A lot of people can’t vote. Most of them would vote Democratic if they could. If you’re thinking of not voting in this Presidential election — or if you’re thinking of voting third party — I’d like you to consider voting for Clinton, on their behalf.

Voter disenfranchisement is a real thing in the United States. Obstructions to voting have been thrown up all over the country: they include insufficient voting hours, inaccessible polling places, voter ID laws (no, these laws don’t prevent voter fraud, that’s a myth), deliberate misinformation about voting, laws banning felons from voting (which disproportionately affect black and brown people, since that’s who the racist police system targets), and more. To give just two of the more egregious examples, Wisconsin has been systematically failing to provide voters with the voter IDs they say they need; and Texas recently had their voter ID laws smacked around by a federal court for illegally discriminating against blacks and Hispanics. What’s more, Trump has been encouraging his supporters to intimidate voters on Election Day — and the Trump campaign is actively organizing this intimidation campaign.

And the voters who are shut out by these obstructions would overwhelmingly vote liberal, progressive, and/or Democratic, if they could. There’s a reason these policies are put in place by Republicans. Many Republicans have explicitly said so. They don’t want black people, brown people, poor people, trans people, immigrants, to vote — because most of them will vote Democratic. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I’m going to: If you know that millions of citizens don’t like your party’s policies and don’t want to vote for you, and your response is to keep these people from voting, there is something seriously wrong with your party.

If you think voter disenfranchisement is wrong, there are a lot of good reasons to vote for Clinton. She’s pledged to make voting more accessible to more people, and to re-enfranchise people who have been shut out of the political system. She’s pledged to repair the Voting Rights Act, set a national standard for early voting, make voter registration automatic when citizens turn eighteen, and more. Trump, to the degree that he’s expressed anything resembling a coherent position on this, supports voter ID laws, opposes same-day voter registration, opposes voting rights for felons, and has made false, unsubstantiated claims about a supposed epidemic of voter fraud in support of tighter restrictions on voting access. (See above: voter fraud is extremely rare, and these policies don’t prevent it. They keep people from voting who have a right to vote.)

But one of the best reasons to vote for Clinton is to give disenfranchised citizens a voice. The people being shut out of voting are among the people whose lives will be most deeply damaged by a Trump presidency. You may not have your own life thrown in the crapper, or put into literal danger, by a Trump presidency. Millions of people will. And many of those people have had their power to do something about it systematically destroyed. Most of them would vote for Clinton if they could. They can’t. Please give them your vote.

(Comment policy: In addition to my regular comment policy, I’m going to ask people to keep comments narrowly focused on this issue. This is not a platform to discuss everything else you do or don’t like about Clinton or Trump. Thanks.)

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A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Disenfranchised Voters

3 thoughts on “A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Disenfranchised Voters

  1. 1

    That is the argument I had with myself right after the conventions. I live in California and I could vote third party to make a protest vote without harming the election(although Cali has been red before and could be again), but I started to really examine my privilege from the perspectives of those disenfranchised. I also started to evaluate where I became so hard on Hillary Clinton. I found I was biased from the time I was a born again christain and Bill Clinton was president. At that point I had to go look at her record. Doing that, and knowing Trump was the republican nominee is what sealed the deal for me. I also found out I can vote for someone I am not completely thrilled with and continue to criticize her for actual policy stuff. I find myself arguing these points with others so I am actively campaigning for her now:) Minds can be changed.

  2. 3

    “Frankly I’m baffled that voter disenfranchisement is even possible. No democratic society should allow that to happen, ever.”

    Who said that the USA is a democratic country? There was the German Democratic Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and so on. Just because a country calls itself democratic doesn’t mean that it is.

    Think about it: voter registration, relatively easy to vote more than once (how often this happens is another problem; apparently there is a program (used only by Republican states) which cancels votes due to suspected multiple voting, although the criteria are such that they are mostly false positives, i.e. 2 people named John Smith are considered the same), polls open when people have to work, electoral college, primaries, unlimited donations possible, campaign mainly on television, two-party system, etc. If some third-world dictator tried to legitimize his rule by saying that he was elected by such a “democratic” system, no-one would take him seriously.

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