This is not a democracy

Voter suppression and elitist institutions are destroying the integrity of our nation

Aubrey Rhoadarmer, Staff Writer

A yard sign depicts the choice many progressives have made in this presidential race, settling for Biden while maintaining their preference for another candidate. (Marissa Lordahl)

Supposedly, we live in a democratic country; but it doesn’t feel that way.

A democratic nation is meant to be one in which the people decide how they are governed and how their country is run. As Americans, we cast votes to decide who should represent our values in the government. That is our democratic process.

Yet, that process has been infringed upon.

Freshman mechanical engineering student Spencer Raymond reacted to the news that in his home state of California, officials from the Republican Party have put out fake ballot boxes.

“They’re trying to get people to put their ballots in there and not have them be counted,” Raymond said.

In response to the Republican Party’s actions, President Donald Trump tweeted out in support of the unofficial ballot boxes, saying “Fight hard, Republicans!”

The president of our country encourages illegal activity so that he can remain in office and spend another four years spreading lies and supporting white supremacists.

That is voter suppression. That is not democracy.

Currently, thirty-six states require voters to show a photo ID in order to place their votes. This law was aimed at combating voter fraud, which according to Trump, is a huge problem.

Yet, according to The Heritage Foundation, from 1992 to 2018, there have only been 1,296 cases of voter fraud. Since 1992 there have been fourteen elections. That means less than 93 cases of voter fraud per election and an average of 1.86 cases per state.

Clearly, voter fraud is not the monster that Trump wants us to believe it is, so what do these laws do?

The real effect of voter ID laws is to suppress low-income and minority voters. These are the people who can’t afford passports or are too busy working to learn how to drive. These demographics are also more likely to vote left.

Trump is systematically eliminating his competition.

Their votes matter just as much as a white rich man’s. The color of someone’s skin and the amount of money in their bank account should not take away anyone’s right to vote.

For many people, getting President Trump out of office is the main objective in this race. (Marissa Lordahl)

Voter suppression, however, is not the only mark of our failing democracy.

The electoral college has been a long-debated institution in the United States. Many have called for its abolishment, and bills are currently being voted on to end it once and for all.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2.8 million votes, yet Trump was the one sworn into office.

This outdated system of election discredited 2.8 million people’s voices.

When the electoral college was devised over two hundred years ago, there wasn’t mass media and most citizens were uninformed and uneducated. The delegates who created the electoral college were afraid that citizens wouldn’t have the resources to be able to make the best choice for themselves and for the nation.

Things have changed just a bit since then.

We have come to a time where the electoral college is obsolete. We have information at our fingertips, which includes political posts, opinions from all sides, statistics and news coverage.

Right now, we have a president that more than half of our nation didn’t vote for.

That’s not democracy.

The state of our government has become so dire that some voters feel they don’t even have a choice.

Not voting at all? That’s a vote for Trump. Voting third party? That’s a vote for Trump. Right now, it’s about compromise.

Settling for Biden is not democracy. Yet, for many, it feels like he is the only option.

“Obviously, Biden is not as left-leaning as liberals or leftists want him to be, but the fact of the matter is that we have to vote Trump out, so we have to settle for someone,” Senior social justice and sociology major Alex Moore said over Zoom.

Biden may not be the perfect candidate, but at least he doesn’t think that all Mexicans are criminals and rapists and that all Muslims are terrorists. At least he doesn’t mock disabled reporters on live television and doesn’t encourage voter suppression.

At least he’s not Trump. It’s important that we keep trying to make the system better.

Now is the time to vote.