Democratic strategist Donna Brazile’s USA Today article “GOP’s 2012 Game Plan Is to Keep Voters Home” merits a read from Democratic leaders, campaign workers and, come to think of it, rank and file voters who don’t want to find themselves disenfranchised on election day. Here’s an excerpt:
…From coast to coast, the GOP is engaged in what appears to be a coordinated, expensive effort to block voters from the polls….The motivation is political — a cynical effort to restrict voting by traditionally Democratic-leaning Americans. In more than 30 states, GOP legislators are on the move, from a sweeping rewrite of Florida’s election laws to new rules for photo identification in Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and more than 20 other states.
As a result, 11% of Americans –21 million citizens of voting age who lack proper photo identification — could be turned away on Election Day. And these people tend to be most highly concentrated among people of color, the poor, the young and the old.
Brazile details some the obstructions being thrown up by Republican-controlled legislatures across the nation, including restricting early voting, fines for voter registration drives and dubious photo i.d. requirements. “What the GOP is attempting to do,” concludes Brazile,” is change the rules of the game, leaving only their players on the field.”
Republicans have engaged in ‘ballot security’ campaigns and other voter suppression activities for decades. But it appears that the effort is now more widespread and deeply-entrenched than ever. Brazile’s warning should be heard and heeded by Democratic organizers, coast to coast.