Today is the “first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.” Just like the Founding Fathers of this nation intended, eligible voters will have the opportunity to cast their vote for whomever they deem worthy to be the next president, like they do every four years. Sadly, every time an election takes place some voters are hindered from casting votes. The victims of such an action, or witnesses to such practices, cannot simply walk away from the issue but should confront it.
Usually, minorities are likely targets of efforts to suppress the vote. In the 2000 presidential election, up to a million voters, most of them black, were disenfranchised. Minorities, by their nature, often lack a way of informing the general populous about their plight. To compound the problem in the case of the 2000 election, the media did not follow the story about voting irregularities through to its logical end in order to prevent it from occurring again. The government, whether intentionally or not, also failed to put into place checks preventing similar events from occurring. In some instances governmental officials were even involved in such voter suppression techniques.
It is therefore up to the voter to ensure not only that his or her vote counts, but also those of other voters.
Some news organizations have installed telephone-hotlines voters can call in case they are being harassed, threatened or falsely accused of being ineligible to vote, and in cases of clear violations voters should not hesitate to call these numbers.
It is imperative that the mistake of the 2000 election, which disenfranchised many voters, is not repeated. Four years ago, the practices were not properly documented. For this reason, voters may want to take a still or video camera to the polls to document strange occurrences.
It is outright embarrassing for a country such as the United States to allow such practices to occur while the same country is preaching democratic values throughout the world. But the sad reality is that such instances occur. If the government is unwilling or incapable of ensuring the legitimacy of this election, which sadly may already be in jeopardy before it even started, it will be up to the voters.
1-877-VOTERFRAUD (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)