The 2016 Presidential Election is less than 2 months away and the GOP is working overtime to keep Democratic supporters away from the polls at any cost.
While it may seem that Democrats and Republicans are equally as cut throat on the campaign trail as of late, the GOP seems to have their sights set on ensuring that discriminatory voting policies are kept in place in hopes of decreasing the number of Democratic supporters at the polls on election day.
Unfortunately for Black voters, many in the African-American community stand to be most affected by several questionable voting regulations that remain at the center of the conversation.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down a detrimental ruling that many Democrats saw as a last hope for restoring a crucial early voting week in Ohio known as “The Golden Week.”
Golden Week provided the only opportunity for voters to register and vote at the same, a feature African-American voters have been proven to take advantage of (many of whom are Democratic supporters) in massive numbers.
Think Progress reports that at least 80,000 voters took advantage of the early voting week option during the last presidential election in 2012, with Black voters 3.5 times more likely than white voters to show up and vote during that time.
Adding to the list of conservatives who are in favor of keeping strict voting policies in place despite their proven history of placing Black voters at a disadvantage, Bill O’Reilly voiced his support of the controversial voter ID requirements that many states continue to battle over as election season heats up. “Every African-American I know has an I.D,” O’Reilly said on a recent episode of his Fox News show. “
“And not only that, the states that want that will send you an I.D. They’ll come to your house with the I.D. and ice cream. They’ll give you ice cream with the I.D.”
What O’Reilly and others defending the voter ID requirements so conveniently fail to mention are that some of the details of the requirements include specifications that prevent several groups like college students, felons and others largely comprised of African-Americans from being able to vote.
Above all else, the increase in GOP tactics to limit people of color from showing up at the polls should serve as a reminder to African-American voters to ensure that all necessary documentation is in tact ahead of election day.