“I want people in Florida to want to vote as bad as that person in Africa who walks 200 miles across the desert. This should not be easy.”
— Florida State Senator Mike Bennett
If Mike Bennett has anything to say about it, Florida’s HB 1355 will surely make voting much harder for that state’s minority residents.
HB 1355 (now under legal challenge), changes the rules for early voting and voter registration, all in an attempt to combat alleged voter fraud — something the Florida ACLU pointed out is rarer in that state than a shark attack. If allowed to stand the bill could unravel years of work by voting rights activists like LaVon Bracy who put it this way: “They put these laws in with the idea that if we discourage enough of them, Florida will not be in Obama’s camp this year.”
Will you help us keep watch over the wave of voter suppression efforts sweeping the country by supporting Voting Rights Watch 2012? Thanks to the generosity of your fellow readers, we are already halfway to raising the $15,000 we need to replenish our coffers and keep our reporters on the voter suppression beat.
Nation writers like Ari Berman, Melissa Harris-Perry, John Nichols and Bryce Covert have been all over the story, monitoring right wing attempts to suppress the vote in critical swing states like Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. And, of course, Brentin Mock, lead reporter for The Nation’s special election year project Voting Rights Watch, is blogging regularly at TheNation.com exposing nationwide threats to democracy in the lead-up to the election.
Listen here to Brentin describe rightwing efforts to intimidate people of color from voting.
I wish I didn’t have to ask you for money. But this assault on basic democratic values is raging in an already busy and taxing presidential election year, and our resources are stretched thin. With your support, we won’t have to pull punches, scale back, or take our eye off these efforts to keep voters from the polls come November — whether in the South, the Midwest, anywhere.
We know times are tough. The pressure on our budget is enormous, too. But we must remain vigilant. As the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said in a visit to our offices just yesterday, this election is about more than deciding who occupies the White House. It’s about deciding the direction of the nation. Please help us reach our goal of $15,000 to fund our voter suppression coverage. And thank you!
Associate Publisher, The Nation
P.S. Right-wing billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch have funded efforts to thwart 21 million Americans from voting and Koch dollars helped write and propose voting suppression bills in thirty-eight states. Please show your support for our reporting today so we can remain vigilant, exposing the right wing’s well-funded efforts to suppress the vote nationwide this November.