November 5, 2012 by David K. Sutton
Voter Suppression Also Comes In The Form Of Long Lines
Since the 2010 midterm election, Republicans have deployed any and all tactics to suppress the vote for the 2012 election. Voter ID laws have gotten the front page coverage, but voter suppression also comes in the form of voter intimidation, voter registration purges and as we’ve seen this past week, long lines at the polls. Both Ohio and Florida, two critical swing states, have seen incredibly long lines during early voting with reports of some people in Florida waiting up to 7 hours to vote. This is not how democracy is supposed to work. It’s an outrage.
Whether its voter ID laws, restricted early voting hours, or inadequate resources at polling locations, these things make voting more difficult. Republicans know that if you make voting more difficult fewer people will vote, and even they will admit that lower turnout tends to favor Republican candidates. Why? One of the most obvious reasons is that higher-income voters tend to vote Republican and lower-income voters tend to vote Democratic. Higher-income workers typically have greater flexibility in their schedules. Standing in line for a few hours to vote might be inconvenient, but it probably won’t result in loss of income or job. Lower-income workers, however, typically have less flexibility in their work schedules and might even work more than one job. On top of that, lower-income workers are more likely to lose income by taking time off work (hourly vs. salary).
Republicans know all of this, and so it’s not an accident that Republican led swing states like Ohio and Florida have reduced access to early voting for the 2012 election. “Whatever It Takes” should be the new Republican motto.