Filed Under:  Letter to the Editor, Opinion

Recognizing and dealing with voter intimidation

8th October 2012   ·   0 Comments

Thanks for publishing the article “Stronger state protections needed to prevent voter intimidation,” by Sue Sturgis. Here is a brief reminder of what voter intimidation is, along with some solutions if you run into this problem while trying to vote.

What is voter intimidation: Several states have passed laws requiring voters to have photo identification. These voter ID laws are based on the very rare event where an unregistered person votes. The real reason is to suppress poor and minority voters who traditionally vote for the Democrat. There are other efforts at voter suppression, such as where the polling stations in poor and minority areas are not open during normal hours, or have an equipment “breakdown.” Sometimes voters are illegally removed from the voting rolls, such as what happened in Florida in 2000.

Preventing voter intimidation on Election Day: The best strategy for voters on Election Day is to make sure that you bring a valid photo ID and that you have reported any recent changes in your address. Do not let the election staff stop you from voting without a fight. I recommend that you bring the phone numbers for the local media (radio and television) and call them if you are denied the vote. You can also call the voter assistance hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE (supported by NAACP and other organizations).

– Dr. Rich Sheridan

This article was originally published in the October 8, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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