Voter suppression is real and in effect. Let's not think for one second that since the election is over attempts to suppress (or redirect) the vote have stopped. It appears to me that in today's politics if you can't win you can always try to change the rules for your benefit.
Have we forgotten what we just went through during the last election? Voter suppression was in full swing. Changes to voter ID laws, gerrymandering, and changing of available registration days were just a few of the tactics used. All of this happened because we took our eye off of the ball. We allowed the obstructionists to gain control in the 2010 mid-term elections. In August 2012 I wrote:
At least 180 restrictive bills were introduced since the beginning of 2011 in 41 states. There are approximately 47 bills currently pending in 12 states. Since the beginning of last year 24 laws and 2 executive actions in 19 states have been enacted.
In the 2012 presidential election Barack Obama's margin of victory over Mitt Romney in the popular vote was close to five million votes. Obama garnered 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206. He surpassed by 62 votes the "magic number" of 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidential election.
What would happen if the popular vote was neutralized by changing the way electoral votes are counted?
In January Think Progress reported:
"A little over a year ago, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) proposed rigging the presidential election for Mitt Romney by allocating electoral votes based upon which candidate carried each individual congressional district, rather than upon who wins the state as a whole. Thanks in large part to Republican gerrymandering, if Corbett’s election-rigging plan had been in effect last November in the Republican-controlled states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, Romney would have won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote by nearly four points."
In the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was quoted saying:
"I think it's something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at"
From The Detroit News:
"In Michigan, by a 1,370-132 vote Saturday in Lansing, GOP members approved a resolution backing a proposal from Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, to divvy up 14 of the state's 16 electoral votes according to which candidate got the most votes in each congressional district. The other two would go to the statewide vote total winner."
From Politics PA:
"Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi plans to introduce legislation this month to change the way Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes are allocated in the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond. Pileggi has indicated his proposal would apportion electors based on the results of the statewide popular vote so that the candidate receiving a popular vote majority or plurality would receive a comparable share of electors. This would be a major departure from the winner-take-all system for awarding electors now in place in Pennsylvania and 47 other states."
I can cite more instances but I think I've made my point. There is a plan in place to change the way electoral votes are counted. Why aren't we on top of this? As voters and taxpaying citizens we need to be all over this.
Do not let your state representatives subjugate your right to vote.
It starts now...let's get this thing done
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.