REAL democracy means ensuring only the “right” people are allowed to vote

Republican candidate for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional seat Karen Handel, updates supporters with her husband Steve on early results at an election night watch party in Roswell, Ga., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (CREDIT: AP Photo/David Goldman)

A federal judge on Thursday ordered Georgia to reopen voter registration before the June run-off for the open House seat in the sixth district, a move that will allow more eligible citizens to participate in the election. On Monday, Republican candidate Karen Handel told her supporters that the “partisan” decision will “boil your blood.” In a fundraising email, Handel — who will face off against Democrat Jon Ossoff in June — called the ruling by U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten, a George W. Bush appointee, a “partisan attempt to change the rules… for a nakedly partisan outcome.”

It would seem a not unreasonable supposition to proceed under: Representative democracy works best when as many people as possible exercise their franchise and vote. Of course, as most any Republican knows (but would never admit), high turnouts don’t bode well for GOP candidates. It’s why so many red states have worked hard to pass and implement voter suppression voter ID laws. If they want to monopolize political power, they need to ensure that only the “right” (read: White, Conservative, Christian) people are allowed to vote. When voting is opened to such reliably Democratic demographics such as minorities, the poor, and college students, Republicans face a much tougher road.

If you can’t beat ’em, cheat ’em.

Republicans can hide behind the propaganda that they’re merely “protecting the integrity of our electoral process,” but the truth is impossible to miss. By creating ever more onerous documentation requirements, the effect is predictable- fewer of the “wrong” people are able to vote. Karen Handel knows this. Her railing against a “partisan attempt to change the rules…for a nakedly partisan outcome” is a sham. She knows her prospects diminish as more of the “wrong” people are allowed to register. Extending voter registration will allow more eligible voters to exercise their franchise…and democracy works best when more people participate.

Sacha Haworth, a spokesperson for Ossoff’s campaign, told ThinkProgress that Handel’s decision to call the ruling “partisan” is not surprising.

“Karen Handel has a long track record of putting her personal political agenda above the public interest, and here she goes again,” Haworth said.

Handel’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who was named in the lawsuit, said Thursday that he will comply with the court’s order and temporarily reopen voter registration until May 21.

The June run-off between Ossoff, a first-time candidate, and Handel, formerly Georgia’s secretary of state, is expected to be close. A recent poll found Handel with a slight lead but within the margin of error. For Ossoff to pull off an upset and flip the district, voter turnout will be critical, especially among the growing Latino and black populations in the district.

Handel, who WWJD/TPRS readers should recognize as responsible for politicizing the Susan G. Komen Foundation, is a far Right-wing ideologue with little respect for the trappings of democracy. She knows that extending voter registration doesn’t bode well for her and that suppressing voter turnout is key to her prospects.

If you can’t beat ’em, cheat ’em.

Remember, kids; it’s not about democracy…it’s about winning.

One thought on “REAL democracy means ensuring only the “right” people are allowed to vote

  1. steeleweed

    Well, there’s a reason the extreme Right tends to interpret the Constitution narrowly instead of adjusting for modern circumstances. The US was never intended to be a Democracy and the Founding Fathers intensely distrusted the Common Man, which is why the franchise was restricted to Propertied White Males. It didn’t start to change until Jackson and progress toward Universal Suffrage has been slow.

    Personally, I think voting should be mandatory.

    Reply

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