Only You Can Prevent Voter Suppression
My wife and I have just spent an hour at the kitchen table, writing postcards to total strangers. We are two of thousands of people in this election season doing the same. Many of you will know the drill. We write to tell people that they may have been purged from the voter rolls and how to reregister to vote. We write to provide information about early voting. We write to inform about upcoming primaries. We try to inspire, as much as hastily written postcards from unknown writers can. “Your vote is your voice!” “The November election is crucial!” We punctuate with exclamation marks!
The court seemed to be applying the same principle when, without explanation, they voted to stay, pending appeal, a lower court decision in Texas that would allow voters under 65 to vote by mail without giving a reason. The court also stayed a lower court decision out of Alabama that struck down for voters 65 and older the requirement that voters submitting absentee ballots must have a photocopy of an ID and that the ballot must be signed by a notary or two witnesses.
So the Supreme Court majority has made clear that they generally won’t permit lower courts intervening to make voting easier, not even during a public health crisis. Which gets back to where we started. If election officials and judges won’t protect voting rights, it’s up to nongovernmental organizations and the citizen volunteers who help them. In other words, you and me.
Which reminds me. I have a few more postcards to write. The script starts off with, “The November election is crucial!” Isn’t that the truth! Won’t you join me?
 For a listing of other organizations doing important anti-voter suppression work, see https://www.bustle.com/p/8-voting-rights-organizations-to-know-before-the-2020-elections-roll-around-13156367
 Pew Research Center, U.S. Trails Most Developed Countries in Voter Turnout, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/05/21/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/
 Miles Parks, Partisan Election Officials Are 'Inherently Unfair' But Probably Here To Stay, November 29, 2018, NPR, https://www.npr.org/2018/11/29/671524134/partisan-election-officials-are-inherently-unfair-but-probably-here-to-stay.
 See P.R. Lockhart, How Shelby County v. Holder Upended Voting Rights in America, Vox, July 23, 2019, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/6/25/18701277/shelby-county-v-holder-anniversary-voting-rights-suppression-congress.