Representative democracy means a government of the people and by the people. A Republic means that governmental power is granted by the people via the people's choice of elected representatives.
Basically speaking, both terms mean that we the people are supposed to be in charge, we the people vote to determine our political representation.
With this in mind, there is a lot of concern lately about the integrity of our system of voting throughout the United States. This is primarily due to the fact that voters in many states are encountering increasing difficulty in casting their votes, and this is a direct threat to US Democracy.
Voter ID Laws and Voter Suppression
Since 2010, several state legislatures have passed laws mandating new, unprecedented requirements in order to vote.
In Pennsylvania, Republican House majority leader Mike Turzai admitted that the new voter ID law passed by the Republican dominated legislature was intended to suppress Democratic voters and help Mitt Romney get elected in 2012. Click here for details.
There is overwhelming evidence that our democracy is being manipulated.
After the 2012 election, the Republican Party chairman in Pennsylvania, Robert Gleason, said that Pennsylvania’s voter ID law succeeded in helping Republicans in that election. He cited the fact that it cut President Obama’s margin of victory in Pennsylvania by 5 percent. Click here for short video.
In Florida, some members of the Republican Party now admit that a voter ID law passed there under the guise of fighting voter fraud was actually designed solely for the purpose of suppressing Democratic voters and helping Republicans win the election. Click here for details.
Supporters of the new voter ID laws struggle to find any examples of actual voter fraud that justify the laws even though they admit the new laws will prevent thousands of legal voters from casting their votes.
Restricting Your Ability to Vote
Along with voter ID laws, some states are suppressing the vote by reducing the number of polling places in heavily Democratic precincts. Voters often have to wait in line for four, six or even eight hours to cast their votes. Click here for details.
In the 2012 election in Florida, voters in Democratic precincts had to wait up to nine hours to cast their votes. Studies suggest that up to 49,000 voters went home rather than wait any longer to vote. Click here for details.
The source of this problem can be traced back to the 1980s when Paul Weyrich, a prominent conservative activist who founded the Heritage Foundation and the Moral Majority, said,
"I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people…. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."
Click here to review the short video with Paul Weyrich. Republican politicians are making it extremely difficult to vote in certain areas. This practice represents a serious threat to our republic and our system of representational democracy.
To Put It Bluntly
Paul Weyrich was saying that Republicans are more likely to win elections when fewer people vote. Election results bear this out. Low voter turnout tends to benefit Republicans, while higher voter turnout usually benefits Democratic candidates.
Another tactic being widely used is political Gerrymandering, which is the unethical practice of redrawing Congressional districts to benefit one political party. This is at serious opposition to the concept of democracy.
Although both political parties have been guilty of this practice in the distant past, Republican state legislatures are openly engaging in this activity in many states.
After Republicans won the governorship and the state legislature in Pennsylvania in the 2010 election, they redrew their Congressional districts to give Republicans more seats in Congress. As a result, in the 2012 election, Pennsylvania voters cast 2,722,560 votes for Democratic Congressional candidates and only 2,651,901 votes for Republicans, yet Republicans won 13 congressional seats to only 5 for Democrats. Click here for details.
- Despite receiving over 50% of the votes in Pennsylvania, Democratic candidates won only 28% of the Congressional seats due to political gerrymandering.
After Texas Republicans redrew Congressional districts, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asked a judge to review the redistricting proposal due to "evidence of intentional racial discrimination".
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott denied any racial discrimination but strangely, his statement read in part,
"In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party's electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats."
This means that the Texas Attorney General admitted in court that the Republican controlled legislature deliberately redrew the districts for the purpose of helping the Republican Party win elections.
- This is an obvious admission that Republican politicians are defying the will of voters by engaging in Gerrymandering. Click here for a short video.
Republican politicians are defying the US Constitution and the voices of the American people to advance their political agenda.
North Carolina Republicans also redrew their districts after the 2010 elections. In 2012, Democratic candidates for Congress received 51 percent of the votes but won only four of the 13 congressional races. Click here for details.
Epidemic Of Deceit
Across the nation in 2012, voters cast 1.4 million more votes for Democrats than Republicans in Congressional elections, yet due to Republican Gerrymandering, Republicans won 33 more seats in Congress than Democrats. Click here for details.
Striking Down The Voting Rights Act
In a strictly partisan vote, conservatives on the Supreme Court did their part to suppress the votes of Democratic voters by declaring parts of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, because there is less discrimination today than in 1965.
Their bizarre logic suggested that the Voting Rights Act worked so well that it is now “unconstitutional”. Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia even claimed the Voting Rights Act was a “racial entitlement program”.
Using Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia’s Logic
Using Scalia's logic, the 13th Amendment, which bans slavery, could also be termed another “racial entitlement program”. There hasn’t been any slavery in the United States for nearly 150 years, so that Amendment must also be unconstitutional. Click here for details.
2012 - A Good Year?
Last year, a lower court determined that a Texas voter ID law involved intentional discrimination against minorities.
After the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act, the lower court ruling no longer applied.
This has emboldened several states to propose new voter ID laws that make it nearly impossible for some U.S. citizens to vote. Click here for details.
Uncover Facts Without Opinion
If you think that both political parties are equally guilty of these unfair tactics, I encourage you to do your own research. You will find that it is primarily Republican legislatures that are engaging in these practices.
In order to retain power, the leaders of the Republican Party have decided to cheat the system by:
- Reducing the number of voting places in Democratic precincts,
- Purging legal voters from voter registration lists,
- Establishing extremely difficult criteria for voting that millions of Americans cannot meet,
- Gerrymandering Congressional districts.
All completed to ensure Republicans can easily win a majority of congressional seats, even when a majority of the votes go to Democratic candidates.
This is not simple political gamesmanship... it is a fundamental assault on our democratic electoral process.
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