Republi-fascists Intensify War Against Voting by People of Color



After Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election, the Republi-fascists launched a full-court press in state legislatures and courts to restrict access to the vote for Black, Latinx, Native American and other oppressed peoples.

As of February 19, 243 voter-restriction bills were being considered in 43 states. These proposed laws include:

  • In Georgia: eliminating early voting on Sundays—a direct hit on the “Souls to the Polls” tradition of Black people going to vote as a group after church. (In the 2020 presidential election, about 25,000 Black people in Georgia voted on Sundays; Trump lost the state by about 12,000 votes.) Another law would make it a crime to pass out free food and water to people in line to vote—which can take hours in nonwhite communities.
  • In Texas: requiring proof of citizenship in order to register, and forwarding the documentation to state law enforcement. So every naturalized citizen would have to weigh the fear of having their citizenship “reviewed” by pigs as a precondition of voting.
  • In Arizona: Giving the (Republican-controlled) legislature the power to override the popular vote by appointing presidential electors who support the candidate that lost.
  • Restricting mail-in voting so as to make it inaccessible to oppressed people—measures like requiring mail-in ballots be notarized and witnessed or mandating that people drop off “mail-in” ballots in person.
  • Sixteen states are either imposing or tightening voter ID laws. A voting rights attorney noted that requiring “a particular kind of voter ID typically burdens voters of color. Voters of color tend not to have whatever the required voter ID is in higher numbers than white voters.” And she added: “You can't divorce the current method of restricting voting access from the long history of voter suppression and racism in this country.”

In addition to these proposed laws, this year all states are redrawing the lines of voting districts for state legislative and congressional elections. (This happens every 10 years.) This opens the door for “gerrymandering”—the practice of drawing weirdly shaped districts that spread out populations that tend to vote against the governing party so widely that they don’t have any influence, and/or concentrate almost all of these “oppositional” voters in just one or a few districts. According to a article, using these methods, in 2016 Republicans were able “to win 10 of 13 House seats in North Carolina and 13 of 18 in Pennsylvania, even though they received roughly the same amount of votes statewide as Democrats did.” And, “gerrymandering in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania alone was responsible for giving Republicans an additional 16 to 17 more seats in the House.”

Since the last redistricting in 2010, several Supreme Court rulings have removed most legal barriers to racist gerrymandering. And Republi-fascists now completely or mainly control redistricting in 30 states.

With these moves, the Republi-fascists want to try and lock in a future of fascist electoral “victories” by suppressing the voting rights and turnout of those who more traditionally are likely to vote for their opponents, the Democrats.

They are blunt about this: arguing for laws that reduce turnout, a Georgia election official said “They don’t have to change all of them, but they have got to change the major parts of them so we at least have a shot at winning.” A Republican Party attorney in Arizona, arguing against overturning a law that restricted minority access to voting, said it would put “us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats. Politics is a zero-sum game, and every extra vote they get ... hurts us.”

This is also consistent with the open white supremacy of the fascist program, stripping away the hard-fought rights of Black and Brown people. As a package, even passing a portion of the hundreds of these proposed laws would amount to a new Jim Crow—a set of laws and customs that would systematically disenfranchise Black people.

As Bob Avakian points out in his New Year’s Statement, with Trump’s defeat, a “catastrophe has been narrowly averted.” But “the forces of fascism are still in many ways being strengthened” and these “forces fighting for the past are aiming to reverse, with a vengeance, even the modest concessions that have been made to the fight against social injustice and institutionalized inequality and oppression, and to enforce a form of capitalist dictatorship that is overt and unrestrained by the Constitution and the rule of law (or which turns the Constitution and the rule of law into merely instruments of fascist tyranny and atrocity).”

The wave of proposed voter-suppression laws drive home the truth of that statement.

Georgia Voters Wait in lineGeorgia voters wait in line to cast their early ballots on the last day of early voting, October 30, 2020. A proposed law would make it a crime to pass out free food and water to people in line to vote – which can take hours in nonwhite communities. (Photo: AP)

Voter ID, MIssissippiVoter ID is checked in Mississippi. 16 states are either imposing or tightening voter ID laws. (Photo: AP)



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