Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
This Monday morning, I am sharing this past weekend’s newspaper article with my thoughts regarding the 2020 election. Additionally, I’d like to share some of the heinous tactics being used to discourage voting–which is a sacred right to be protected.
Intimidation, harrassment and suppression, yes, this is happening.
Friday, Trump supporters surrounded a Biden campaign bus, nearly driving it off the highway between Austin and San Antonio. “These patriots did nothing wrong,” tweeted President Trump.
Blocking of the postal vote: Although the states have conducted elections with few problems since the 1990s by sending a ballot paper by mail to all registered voters, the Trump campaign has sued New Jersey, Nevada, and Montana to prevent them from doing the same. Trump has denounced the mailing of “unsolicited” ballots to voters on an almost daily basis.
Witness signatures are required: In eight states, including the swing states of Wisconsin and North Carolina, voters must find a witness to sign their ballots. This is clearly difficult and inconvenient in the best of times, and even more so in a time of pandemic and social distancing.
Sabotage of the postal service: The well-publicized major delays in mail delivery by the United States Postal Service have led to widespread concern that votes will be rejected because they arrived too late. The delays are due to changes made under Louis DeJoy, a major Republican donor who was appointed Postmaster General earlier this year. He reduced overtime, shortened the opening hours of post offices and forced trucks to drive before they could be filled with mail.
Premature closure of polling stations: There are long lines in front of polling stations for those who exercise their right to vote early – especially in communities of color. Some people have waited in line for more than ten hours – and that in a pandemic. Imagine waiting in line all day just to have the polling station close.
Preventing Mailboxes: Many states allow voters to return their ballots to mailboxes throughout the state, but the Trump campaign has complained to prevent mailboxes from being set up in swing states like Pennsylvania. One example is Texas, where Republican Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive a few weeks before the start of the early term calling on districts to remove additional mailboxes already installed, forcing Harris County, home to 5 million people, to move from 12 locations to just one.
Recruitment of election observers: The Republican Party is seeking to recruit 50,000 election observers to intimidate and possibly challenge the eligibility of Democratic voters. President Trump has threatened to illegally send law enforcement agencies to observe the elections.
These acts could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters, especially in demographic groups with democratic leanings, and tip the election towards Trump.
DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED. DO NOT BE AFRAID! VOTE!
I have relatives in Seattle – they and everyone in America hope for a better future. A future in which the president will be a voice of reason. A president that you can be proud of and rely on. Yes, there is also a certain fear of what four more years of this presidency would do to democracy and the world. That is why I am sure that there will be a record turnout in the elections.
The Covid 19 pandemic has shown us all that a leader has to master crisis management and communication. He or she must be fair, objective and empathetic. I don’t believe that President Trump has met these standards, nor do I believe that he cares about all of America’s well-being.
I dare say that America’s reputation as a safe, trustworthy, competent international leader and partner has been weakened. I hope that this “fall from grace” will not prove irreversible.
Above all, I look at election day with one feeling: with hope. But the vote is in danger. I read a newspaper article that listed 29 ways in which President Trump and the Republican Party could make voting more difficult, for example by blocking the postal vote and closing polling stations early, especially in districts with a predominantly black population.
The political atmosphere in America is highly charged. The outcome will have global implications for democracy, progress and solidarity across generations. If Biden wins, I sincerely hope that there will be a peaceful transfer of power. Caution is advised, because Trump may not accept the election results if he loses. I can only pray for peace.
But the Trump crisis is also an opportunity, because issues like racism and the division of society are finally being discussed. Because of Trump’s attitude and his rhetoric about people of color, the pot is boiling over. With his words and deeds he has held up a mirror to American society, and he has sent back a grotesque image that many people don’t want to face: Racism is still rampant throughout the country – and so far it has been reflexively denied. With the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor there has been a new awakening. Americans can no longer close their eyes to the sins of the nation.