Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign targeted 3.5 million Black Americans to discourage their vote on Election Day.
Released online and in-print on Sept. 21, GEN-ZiNE’s most recent issue constitutes an “Election Guidebook,” amplifying young perspectives on hot-button issues, and connecting readers during a period of isolation and change.
“The poll tax, in this election, is time. The poll tax, in this election, is potentially exposing yourself to COVID-19. The poll tax, in this election, is forgoing traditional methods of voting by mail because you are afraid your rights will be trampled. Now we anxiously await a future that will either be filled with more misogynist anti-Black violence, or a return to the value of difference as the very fabric of our democracy.”
President Trump’s directive to his supporters “to go into the polls and watch very carefully” has magnified anxiety that the election will soon become marred by violence and voter intimidation.
Let’s break down the difference between between poll watching and electioneering.
State officials don’t know how many felons are registered or eligible to vote. So ProPublica, Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald did their own analysis and found only a very small percentage of them will be able to cast ballots this election. Some could face prosecution if they do.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order authorizing leave for city employees to serve as poll workers for the November election and runoff election. The executive order comes amidst growing concern regarding the safety of in-person voting, especially as people over age 60—who are at highest risk for complications from COVID-19—have historically constituted the majority of volunteers.
Responses by election officials in the United States to the COVID-19 pandemic seriously impaired some people’s ability to vote in primary elections, Human Rights Watch said in a report.
Election officials need to ensure that every method of voting allowed in their state is easy to access and use for all voters, so that there can be a credible U.S. general election on November 3.
Does the president have the power to suspend the elections? The short answer: No. But while the law is clear, President Trump’s efforts to delay the elections, sow distrust in our democratic processes, and wreak havoc on the U.S. electoral process are already well underway.
Will access to mail-in ballots (or lack thereof) impact voter turnout? Can Trump invoke martial law if he loses the election? What are the possible threats to our democracy come November?
With the election fast approaching, experts warn that a surge in vote-by-mail interest combined with early processing laws means that “election night” will stretch into days and even weeks of uncertainty.
Like almost every aspect of our lives during the pandemic, voting may look a bit different than usual. But with a little planning, you should be able to vote either masked and socially distanced at the polls, or by mail without issue.
Here’s what you can do ahead of time to be prepared for the 2020 election.