If you’ve been watching the show over the last few weeks, and in particular, if you’ve been following our This Week In Voter Suppression segments, you might be feeling a little shook. I know I am.
You might be having nightmares about state Republican legislators passing laws that could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of students, people of color, poor people, and seniors.
You can even be forgiven if the plans of organizations like True the Vote to send one million volunteers out to intimidate voters at the polls on election day make you feel a bit of hyperventilation coming on.
It’s okay. The idea of an organized effort to block the vote, steal and election, and most importantly, undermine our democracy, is scary stuff. But here’s the thing, when you turn on the light, they boogeyman goes away. And in this case, the light for the American electorate is knowledge and information.
As of today, we can all rest a little easier because resistance against restrictive voting laws has blocked or weakened those laws in more than a dozen states. But that still leaves several states with new voter laws that will be in effect on election day.
If you live in one of those states, don’t get scared. Get ready. Do your homework. Find out what the law is, so you can make sure you’ve got everything you need to exercise your right to vote on November 6.
You can start with the Map of Shame you see above, courtesy of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. It breaks down what you need to know about voter-ID laws – whether you need an ID in your state, what kind is valid, and whether or not you’re required to show an ID if one is requested of you.
If you’re a new voter, or have to change your registration for any reason, you might be affected too. Most registration deadlines have already passed, but to find out if there’s still time for you to get registered, check out the list of deadlines here.
Today, Melissa chatted with Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Ms. Arnwine is going to be dropping all kinds of knowledge about how you can volunteer to be a part of efforts to stop voter suppression.
She’ll tell you what to do if you get challenged by a monitor on election day. And she’s even got a hotline for you to call if you witness some voter intimidation shadiness going down at your local polling place – 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
So shake off that shook feeling. Remember: voting is your right. You have the power.