Republicans seem to know the old adage… make sure you’ve won the game before it has even started. How do they do this? They write the rules. In elections that means pre-work as follows:
- Gerrymandering congressional districts to ensure your party retains power. While this may favor either or both major parties, systemic efforts by Republicans for two decades have resulted in a skew toward Republican victories and wasting votes of Democrats. See the map in this article about a Wisconsin gerrymandering case, which also offers a glimmer of hope about a breakthrough method for identifying and fighting partisan gerrymandering. Also see the hopeful steps happening in North Carolina where a special election may be held after court-supervised redistricting can take place. Also see news of more organized Democratic leadership to combat this issue.
- Caging, purging and otherwise reducing voter registrations to make it hard for people to vote, particularly minorities who more frequently vote Democratic, thus favoring Republican victories. See this well-written summary on North Carolina restrictions on voting (though people are now fighting back in NC)
- Undercounting votes, particularly of minorities, by methods such as “Crosscheck” which ensure that votes that were cast are not actually counted. See article by long-time election investigator Greg Palast. His totals on purged votes show how the exit polls were right about Hillary winning in those critical swing states, but then the votes were not counted. This is another tactic used by Republicans.
- Using manipulable computer voting machines from Republican controlled and connected companies (like Diebold) which have proven unreliable and skewing toward Republican victories. See my earlier post with a movie link and more details (see the movie!)
Why are they doing this? See the Stick Figure video about perpetuating power that I linked previously. Classic tactics, particularly if you are moving away from a democratic model toward dictatorship model.
What can we do?
- Get Democrats registered well in advance, and then get them physically to the polls with organized rides. Reach out to help in other states by calling those Democratic headquarters. Mid-term elections are essentially around the corner.
- Write letters to Congress, to the Editor, to whomever, about the need for bipartisan districting. How else can we keep politicians of any party from becoming too comfortable or too corrupt? They need to feel the pressure come election day to prove they’ve earned our vote.
- Connect with Holder’s efforts for fair redistricting.
- Dispute, every chance you get, Trump’s notion that there is widespread in-person voting fraud (the Chicago equivalent of vote early and often). Every expert agrees this is simply not true and that the few cases are so few as to be inconsequential. He is tweeting this not as a sore loser rant, but rather as a strategy to gain political support for more voter suppression laws.