These past few days we’ve seen the Republicans try a number of voter suppression stunts in various states, aimed at rigging the midterm elections in their favor. More accurately, we should say that we’ve seen the Republicans get caught trying voter suppression stunts. Exposing these things in time is half the battle, because that creates the opportunity to fight and win the battle before election day. Sure enough, the Democrats have already won one of these fights.
No, we’re not talking about Brian Kemp’s voter suppression scheme in Georgia. He’s just been hit with a massive lawsuit which could result in anything from the voter registrations in question being reinstated, to Kemp being forced to recuse himself as Secretary of State. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, a different such scheme has been playing out in Texas.
On Thursday night, Rachel Maddow revealed that white officials in the Texas 10th district have been trying to prevent black students at Prairie View A&M University from voting, partly by giving them the wrong address. This got so out of control that when Democratic congressional candidate Mike Siegel sent one of his aides to the courthouse to try to resolve the matter, that aide ended up being arrested for no reason.
But after Maddow highlighted the story on Thursday night, she then reported on Friday night that the sheer spectacle of the scandal – and the light that was shined on it – prompted Texas state officials to step in and fix everything. Now all of the Prairie View A&M students who tried to register will indeed be able to vote. We doubt that GOP officials in Texas suddenly grew a conscience, so much as they feared that this scandal was going to become too ugly and blow back on them in other ways.
This demonstrates how the Democrats and the Resistance can win the voter suppression war. Half the battle involves exposing these schemes, and the other half involves fighting back loudly and fiercely. It’s all about leverage. If the battle can be won in Texas, it can be won in Georgia and other places as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report