Something Scary Happened In the Republican Districts of Indiana During Election Years
When it comes to elections, the two main parties in this country have very different concerns over the potential problems affecting the outcomes. Republicans have developed a paranoia regarding voter fraud, fearing that either illegal immigrants are voting in droves or regular citizens are voting multiple times or even that dead people are still registered.
Democrats, on the other hand, have legitimate concerns regarding voter suppression. Gerrymandering is a widespread problem in many red states, which has been used in the past to suppress the minority vote. With the implementation of REDMAP by the GOP in 2010 and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, the issue has only become exponentially worse.
Despite the number of examples of gerrymandering happening, it is genuinely hard for Democratic politicians to successfully prove in a court of law that the redistricting was racially-motivated. While progressives have had some successes in places like North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin, it still remains a hard fight.
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Things have gotten so bad, that Republicans have even resorted to an arguably worse kind of voter discrimination: political affiliation. While it is no secret that minorities tend to vote in favor of the Democrats, actively targeting the political opposition represents a direct attack on American democracy. And yet, that is exactly what has been happening in Indiana since at least 2008. According to a new report from The Indianapolis Star by Fatima Hussein, the GOP in the area decided to implement changes in two of its areas: the Republican-controlled Hamilton County and the Democratic-controlled Marion County.
The alterations included increasing the amount of early-voting places in the former, while decreasing them in the latter. It may sound simple, but the effects are huge from this differentiation. Early voting has accounted for over 30 percent of the vote in presidential elections since 2008, and even played a strong role in Republican Greg Gianforte winning the Montana at-large congressional district special election in May of this year, despite assaulting a reporter the day before.
In the case of Indiana, the absentee voting percentages were a 63 percent increase for Hamilton and a 26 percent decrease for Marion. As a result of these findings, we hope the Democratic Party in the state actively works to bring to justice the perpetrators of this voter suppression and work to make elections fair for all constituents.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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