Beating voter suppression with organizing

Republicans legislatures and governors are hoping against hope to suppress the votes of young people, poor people, women and minorities by enacting laws that make voting harder and by enacting modern day poll taxes. Some of those laws have been blocked by the Department of Justice, and some others have been challenged in court. But court challenges take time, and the election is a little more than six months away. What do you do in that situation when you are the campaign of the disenfranchised?

You organize.
Field workers for President Obama’s campaign fanned across the country this weekend in an effort to confront a barrage of new voter identification laws that strategists say threaten the campaign’s hopes for registering new voters ahead of the November election.

In Wisconsin, where a new state law requires those registering voters to be deputized in each of the state’s 1,800 municipalities, the campaign sent a team of trainers armed with instructions for complying with the new regulations.

In Florida, the campaign’s voter registration aides traveled across the state to train volunteers on a new requirement that voter registration signatures be handed into state officials within 48 hours after they are collected.

And in Ohio, Mr. Obama’s staff members are beginning outreach to let voters know about new laws that discourage precinct workers from telling voters where to go if they show up at the wrong precinct.
The Obama campaign has an answer to the GOP's voter suppression efforts: we will see your poll tax and raise our organizing. Bring. It. On. This also means something else: if you live in a state or can get to a state with these voter suppression laws, the Obama campaign needs you. Sign up, show up for a training and do this. It will probably be harder this time around than last to register all the new voters we need. But if difficulty were ever a reason to give up, there would be no President Barack Obama.

You need to get there, get trained, and register voters. Conservatives will always want to make voting harder to do. But if we prove their efforts futile and kick their butts in November, we will not only re-elect the president but we will elect Democratic governors and legislators who will turn back the clock on these archaic voter suppression laws and once again protect the right to vote.

The Republicans laid their groundwork by passing these voter suppression laws. Now we need to tear up that ground and establish our own. Fired up. Ready to go.