Ep 14: Voter Protections & Jim Crow 2.0 at the Ballot Box, Part 1
Tuesday’s election results are great news for us! Specifically the bellwether special election for a congressional seat in New York in which voters elected Democratic candidate Pat Ryan. In a tweet, he wrote, “Choice was on the ballot. Freedom was on the ballot, and tonight choice and freedom won. We voted like our democracy was on the line because it is. We upended everything we thought we knew about politics and did it together.”
That is correct. You see, once again, the polls had our Democratic candidate down by 10 points, and he won by 2 points.
That is a 12 point swing, a 12 point difference.
Remember how a few weeks ago, the polls predicted a tight election result on the Kansas ballot measure regarding our legal right to abortion care, and lo and behold …. Dot dot dot daaaaaaah!
Our side won in a 2-to-1 smack down. A blow out. Not even close. At. All! Because, honey, hell hath no fury is showing up at the polls!
This is the exact reason that I named my podcast series Hell Hath No Fury™. Remember I have that slogan on t-shirts, ball caps, and a mug for your morning coffee that you can get at my website – SassyPoliticalCoach.com.
Damn it, as women, we are mad as hell, and we refuse to take one more second of this attempt to return us to the Dark Ages. PERIOD. My period. Your period. Her period. Every woman’s period. Period! The ReTHUGlliQans are screwing with us.
What we’re doing? We’re doing the campaign work. We’re making the phone calls, knocking the doors, contributing time, treasure, talent. We are going to the polls. We are voting in a way that honors our graduation from the school, heck the university of hard knocks – you know, our alma mater: SCREW U.
We’re showing up. We’re showing THEM the door. Now to keep that door shut forever more, my friends, there are things you need to know, and things we need to do for Democracy Defense.
That’s a phrase that my friend, Kenyatta Kinloch, also a former colleague from our years at the ACLU of Georgia – Kenyatta used to say that phrase all the time. I’m so proud of him. He’s now the digital communications manager over that at Our Turn. It’s a great phrase – Democracy Defense.
Speaking of which, for years the ReTHUGliQans have been doing just the opposite,. they have been chipping away at the cornerstone of our democracy, our sacred voter rights by using their death-by-a-thousand-cuts method.
Death by a thousand cuts. It’s a really good way to describe what ReTHUGliQans do to our democracy. They use everything in their power to stop U.S. citizens from exercising their sacred right to vote. It’s a basic tenet of a democracy!
Strategically, ReTHUGliQans specifically target citizens who are Black or Brown, Asian or Hispanic, those who are lower income, young, or young at heart.
There’s no two ways about it, honey. ReTHUGliQans fail to believe in our democracy, fail to believe in our America, in the Promise of America. How utterly unAmerican! Ahhh, what can we expect? These are the same folks who kiss up to Putin and the Saudi butcher. Enemies of our democracy.
This is a good time for some real talk about the unseen Jim Crow at the ballot box, these death-by-a-thousand-cuts that ReTHUGliQans employ all over the nation. But of course, Georgia is ground zero for the New Jim Crow 2.0.
Over the next few episodes, I’m going to run through about a number ways that the ReTHUGliQans in Georgia have tried to steal or have actually succeeded in stealing the sacred right to vote from U.S. citizens, again, because those citizens are Black, Asian, or Hispanic or lower income, young, or young at heart.
Afterwards, I’ll give you a few ways that you can participate in Democracy Defense to help protect our sacred right to vote.
Now, during the four and a half years I was the communications director at the ACLU of Georgia, I had the honor of working side-by-side with one of the nation’s foremost attorneys on voter rights: Sean J. Young, our legal director.
Sean did a tremendous amount of work to mitigate, to stop a wide variety of Jim Crow 2.0 policies and practices at the ballot box. He was so successful that he was named lawyer of the year in 2019. It was such a pleasure to work side-by-side with him and his top notch legal team to shine a big bright light on this work as we went after the dark, hidden, and ugly forms of Jim Crow at the ballot box here in the 21st century.
The first ReTHUGliQan tactic I’m going to talk about is moving majority Black precincts to police buildings. Yeah, that’s what citizens who are Black, Hispanic, Asian want to do. Walk up to a police precinct or training academy and say, “Hey, Mr. Police Officer with a badge on your chest and a gun on your hip! I’m here to vote! Can you tell me where to go?”
Oh, dear God! How stupid can people be?! Of course, we have to stop asking that question, because they keep answering it.
The recent images of police officers murdering Mr. George Floyd and the worldwide protests including Georgia that proceeded from that murder remain emblazoned in our brains and in our hearts.
And that is another reason that we want to have the right number of senators in the U.S. Senate so that we can pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
With all of that, Cobb County, a suburb of Atlanta, moved a majority-Black polling precinct into a police training facility after the county – and Georgia as a whole – voted in Democrats locally and to the U.S. Senate. … and, of course, to the presidency.
While most law enforcement officers carry out their duties in a non-discriminatory manner, and hopefully, Florida will elect Congresswoman and former police chief Val Demings to the U.S. Senate this November, the truth remains that many Black voters have justifiable concerns about any interactions with law enforcement.
In his letter to the Cobb County board, ACLU of Georgia Voting Rights Attorney Rahul Garabadu wrote, “Voter intimidation is illegal under federal law. Using the police academy as a polling place may violate the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits any attempt to ‘intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person from voting or attempting to vote.’”
Because the ACLU of Georgia and the citizens who spoke up, got involved, and participated in our democracy, the board changed course. But not until after some doings. It took a number of meetings to make that happen. In the end, Democracy Defense won again! And the crowd roars!
So now, some of you want to help protect our sacred right to vote at the front lines, and THAT is FABULOIS!
The national Democratic Party is ready for you. The folks at the DNC – that stands for Democratic National Committee – will train you for poll-watching, staffing the voter protection hotline, or all kinds of volunteer activities.
The DNC can hook you up to help nationwide as well as in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, and more states are coming on board.
To find something that suits your fancy, go to sassypoliticalcoach.com/volunteer. There you’ll see options with links to get you started to help out. Find what you like, click the link, and follow the bouncing ball. Before you know it, you’ll be signed up to help out.
Thank you for reading. This closes out Part 1 of Voter Protection & Jim Crow at the Ballot Box. Stay tuned for more coming your way very soon.
In the meantime, be sure to follow and like, rate and subscribe wherever you follow this podcast. And of course, share it with your friends and your family.
And you can find me across social media @SassyPoliticalCoach.
And again, for your Hell Hath No Fury swag, tshirt, ball cap, and coffee mug, head on over to Sassypoliticalcoach.com/store.
This is Ana Maria, YOUR Sassy Political Coach. Now go out and make Hell Hath No Fury, our political rallying cry that helps to create that Big Blue Wave this NOVEMBER!
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