Daily Engagement is a new, brief, daily feature on Flavorwire. It’s aimed at helping people feel somewhat less helpless and hopeless (or at least in control of their helplessness and hopelessness) in the midst of a political news cycle that’s been doling out daily affronts to human decency.
Every day, we’ll post one easy thing that people can do to continue to resist the current state of politics under the Trump administration, focusing on the creative ways (we are a culture website after all) that citizens are finding to resist.
Are you a Latinx or black voter who fears the Trump administration’s threat to your well-being will translate to impositions on your voting rights? And/or, are you a liberal from an urban area who’s been feeling generally disempowered by the electoral college’s imbalanced weighing of votes in white, rural areas? Thereby leading you to feel that everything happening in government neither represents you nor the majority of the country? (As Wired explained recently, “In 2016, for example, based on the votes cast and the electors by state, a vote in Miami, Florida, counted about a quarter as much as a vote cast in Cheyenne, Wyoming.”)
Unfortunately, Congressional elections only happen every two years and presidential elections every four. If something seems to have been won unfairly or by a non-majority (or even if they are won by a majority but just suck), voters are, as we’re seeing, at that administration’s mercy — particularly if that administration disregards and disdains their voice — until the next election. So it’s really damn important for elections not to cheat voters — and really damn disquieting that Donald Trump’s claims about “voter fraud” will likely further empower Republican-led voter suppression that will continue the Right’s crusade to disenfranchise particularly Democratic-leaning minority populations.
Today, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced the launch of Let America Vote, which seeks to defend the country against voter suppression, an increasing threat at a time when people in power seem dead set on verbally nullifying — instead of even pretending to listen to — voices of dissent.
Today, House Republicans voted to do away with the Election Assistance Commission, according to The Nation. The commission, the paper explains, is the “only federal agency charged with making sure voting machines can’t be hacked.” It was, in fact, created in 2000 after terms like “hanging chad” and “butterfly ballots” — which could be poetic descriptions of venereal warts — led us into the grammatically challenged, religiously driven presidency that’d bring us the war in Iraq.
So, yeah, the idea of an organization made to protect voting rights seems pretty key about now. Per the description on the Let America Vote site (which hasn’t officially launched yet), Kander’s organization seeks to tackle forms of voting injustice that impact people “based on their race or ethnicity, gender, age, or income…whether it’s extreme identification requirements, questionable purges of voter rolls, voter intimidation, new and extreme voter registration processes.”
The site lists the Board of Advisors for the new organization, including “human rights activist Martin Luther King III, Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards, former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest…renowned voting rights and election attorney Marc Elias,” and 23 other members. Kander wrote in a statement:
Today, that progress is in danger as laws targeting low-income and minority voters continue popping up across the country. Let America Vote will make the case for voting rights by exposing the real motivations of those who favor voter suppression laws. For the first time, politicians intent on denying certain Americans the right to vote will first have to consider the political consequence.
Check out the nascent stages of their website and sign up to get involved here. Donate here.