Freedmen at a voter registration office, Macon, Georgia in 1867. During Reconstruction (1866-1876).
"Freedmen at a voter registration office, Macon, Georgia in 1867. During Reconstruction (1866-1876)." Everett Historical/shutterstock.com

Trump’s campaign team totally freaked out when it learned that early voting in Nevada saw a surge of Latino voters and that polling stations in Nevada’s most populous county, Clark County, had long lines and stayed open after closing time, 7 p.m., to accommodate those long lines. Trump’s team, who, during the later stages of the race, repeatedly claimed that the system is rigged, were so upset about this situation that they filed a complaint on the day of the election. It was tossed out of the court by Judge Gloria Sturman. After this episode, any doubt about what Trump and the GOP meant by “rigging” was removed: It is letting people, and particularly people of color and people in cities, vote. If a rural white American votes, that’s called a fair election. If a polling station in Albuquerque stays open beyond its official operating hours, that’s not democracy hard at work, but rigging the system.

But the system is becoming more and more rigged along GOP lines. In 2013, the Supreme Court killed a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that required a state to receive federal approval before changing its election laws. That GOP victory, which set the country back by half a century, led to 14 states not opening but limiting opportunities for citizens to vote. And often the color of these citizens is not white. And often, they are in cities. Wisconsin was one of the states that changed its voting laws with the noble goal of preventing fraudulent activities. As The Nation pointed out, there the presidential race came down to just over 25,000 votes in Trump's favor. But more than 300,000 Wisconsinites could not meet the new strict voting standards, and this hit the center of blue votes, Milwaukee, hard. That city had its lowest turnout in 20 years.

Yes, a part of Clinton's loss can be attributed to a lack of enthusiasm, but we must not rule out the impact of the new and increasing forms of voter suppression, which include crosschecking. Barely anyone talked about it in the news. We heard plenty about the zombie issue of Trump’s rigging, but almost nothing, even from Hillary Clinton, about actual suppression. This is why we live in Trump's America and not Hillary's America. Saying nonsense is easier and more reported than saying the truth. You hear lots about things that are not supported by any evidence, like there are millions of crooked Democrats who vote in two or more states, and you hear very little about the very real effort to suppress votes in states like North Carolina, which totally banned the Souls to the Polls (early voting on Sundays that was popular with black churches). Voter suppression is real, and we on the left should take it more seriously. Certainly the GOP is taking it seriously because white votes are stagnant. For three consecutive presidential elections, the white vote has pretty much been flat. The GOP can only win by checking and suppressing Dem voters. Expect more laws along these lines during the next two years.

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