As holidays go, National Voter Registration Day is self-explanatory. Created in 2012 by the League of Women Voters, it’s a day in September when volunteers work to register voters and increase participation. In the last two years, the effort helped add 350,000 people to the voter rolls, and this year more than 2,000 groups have organized events to mark the occasion and repeat the success. In Atlanta, for example, the NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and the American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia gathered at the State Capitol to host a mass registration event. Likewise, in Ohio, the state Democratic Party held registration events in Cincinnati and Columbus, by way of a statewide bus tour. And on a more national note, the Democratic National Committee issued a message in support of National Voter Registration Day. The Republican Party has not responded with similar enthusiasm.
Nearly two years after it pledged more outreach to traditionally Democratic communities, the Republican Party remains committed to a strategy of voter suppression. Voter identification laws in North Carolina and Texas have kept thousands of people from the polls, while some Ohio Republicans are charging through judicial setbacks to pass a new voter ID law and maintain attempted cuts to early voting. And in Wisconsin this month, a panel of Republican judges on the 7th Circuit overturned an injunction against the state’s voter ID law, which was criticized for its burden on low-income and minority voters.
“Unfortunately,” wrote DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Fla., on her organization’s website, “Republicans have made the cynical calculation that their path to victory is a smaller electorate. Obstacles to registering to vote — such as elimination of same-day registration and refusal to adopt online registration — disproportionately affect young people, women, and communities of color.” Wasserman Schultz’s statement is typically partisan, but it’s not wrong.
Full Article: The GOP’s war on voter registration – Chicago Tribune.