Early voting has begun here in North Carolina, and if the first day was any indication, it looks like we might have a good turnout this year.
That’s good news. In years with high turnout, the right-wing, corporate, anti-life candidates do poorly.
And this year, there’s a lot at stake, including the very existence of the Affordable Care Act, if the Republicans take the Senate. The House has voted 50 times to repeal it; if the Senate votes the same way, we’re in trouble.
I don’t know why any woman would vote for a candidate who would take away her right to make reproductive choices. This group has closed women’s health clinics across the country under the guise of being “pro-life.” But if they’re really pro-life, why do they deny poor women cancer screenings?? Many of them are saying a business should have the right to fire a woman for taking birth control pills.
If you think this can’t become reality, think again. The Right has its Supreme Court in place. This is a court that has already said it’s OK for a boss to deny insurance coverage for birth control.
And that’s just one issue. Most of these people are bought and paid for by big business and the 1 percent. They want to abolish minimum wage. They want to abolish what’s left of our shredded safety net and our public education system.
These are the people who are trying to cut the number of people eligible to vote, and they’re attacking the people who most likely would vote against them — the poor, the elderly, people of color and college students.
Just look at the battle for keeping a polling place on the campus of Appalachian State in Boone, which has 18,000 students: http://billmoyers.com/2014/10/23/north-carolina-fights-take-voting-site-away-pesky-college-kids/.
They have reduced voting hours; they have cut early voting and eliminated Sunday voting (which is when many African-Americans voted); they have closed polling places and reduced the number of voting machines in places where people traditionally voted against them.
They have eliminated straight-party voting, which means it will take a few moments longer. That will make lines longer and reduce the number of people who can vote. They have made it easier for someone to challenge your vote. Even if you still get to vote, the challenge has taken time and slowed the line.
And what’s important about slowing the line is that, no matter how long the line is when the polls close on Election Day, the doors close one hour after the stated closing time. That means if you’re in line an hour and one minute after the polls are supposed to close, you don’t get to vote.
You won’t find long lines in wealthy polling places because the people who would stifle your voice have the majority of those votes in the bag.
This is why it’s so important that you vote and vote early. There are lines for early voting, but not nearly as long as the lines will be on Election Day.
The time is over for anyone to be uninterested in politics. You must become aware of what’s happening in the world around you. You must care enough about what’s happening in this country, and you must vote to keep our Democracy alive.
In Kansas, the Right, under the “leadership” of Sam Brownback, they have destroyed the state’s economy and Sen. Mitch McConnell has said he wants to make that a national priority.
Schools are being destroyed, food banks emptied, unemployment insurance all but eliminated. If this is your idea of what a successful society looks like, then go ahead and stay home. Otherwise, get your ass to the polls. Do it early. Do it today.