In 2004, George W. Bush won "re-election." John Kerry would have won the election if so many people in Ohio hadn't been turned away because of long waits to vote in urban areas -- up to eight hours. In areas with more registered Democrats, there were proportionally fewer machines than there were in areas where the voters were more likely to vote Republican.
In 2008, Republicans tried to delegitimatize Obama by focusing on the non-profit ACORN, which they alleged was registering ineligible voters. Beyond that, there were some allegations of Obama and Clinton improperly appearing on the primary ballot in Indiana.
By 2012, there were multiple Republican efforts to discourage voting.
Since I live in Pennsylvania, I am especially concerned about our Republican-sponsored strict voter ID law. Although a Pennsylvania judge issued a temporary injunction against enforcing this law for the November election, the PA State Department continued to run misleading ads saying that voter ID was required, ensuring voter confusion.
In Ohio and Florida, Republican legislatures cut early voting hours. The resulting longer waits to vote threatened to disenfranchise
- people who could not take hours off from work,
- people who work two or three jobs,
- people who needed help with transportation to get to the polls,
- people who were disabled, and
- elderly people whose children might vote in one precinct and then help them to vote in another precinct.
Republican administrations made no effort to hide their partisan tricks.
But here's what happened:
Voters had finally caught on to the Republicans' shenanigans, tricks, challenges, and ploys.
In Ohio, people came to the polls ready and willing to wait in long lines to vote.
Floridians responded to early voting with record turnout.
In Pennsylvania, turnout was strong, in spite of voter ID confusion, with long lines predicting record turnout and reports of unprecedented lines forming before the 7 a.m. poll opening.
And nationwide, in spite of suppression and a poor economy, young people voted by the tens of millions and had a 52% turnout rate.
African-American voters turned out in droves to cast their votes.
Women, gays, blacks and Latinos all turned out, after Republican suppression schemes turned voting into a new civil rights movement.
The Republican efforts to suppress voting and disenfranchise Democratic voters BACKFIRED!
President Obama stated in his election night speech that "we have to fix" the voter suppression problems. Perhaps another Federal Election Reform Commission should be convened. Maybe we could check out Estonia's method. Another subject, perhaps for another post.
As always, I welcome your comments.