Written by Kaherdin Clohan Bonnet (News Writer)
Due to the incredibly large voter turnout in the recent election that resulted in Joe Biden becoming president and winning over several normally red states, Georgia has started to try and restrict voting rights. They’re attempting to increase the difficulty of voting by mail, and if they succeed with their plan, Georgia would jump from the easiest state to vote by mail to the hardest. A bill that has yet to be passed would require voters to provide an excuse as to why they are voting by mail and also provide identification simply to acquire a ballot.
However, Georgia isn’t the only state to try, and succeed in some cases, to restrict voter rights. Forty-two states, excluding Georgia, have passed well over two hundred bills in attempts to restrict voter rights. Some may make voting early in the morning on weekends impossible, increase the difficulty to register to vote, ensure stricter identification requirements, and takedown electoral rolls.
A record voter turnout should normally be celebrated, but instead of doing so, these southern and red states are trying to make voting harder and harder, mainly affecting minority groups who helped in electing Joe Biden as president, rather than affecting everyone equally.
Annika Jordan, a high school senior at San Lorenzo Valley High, had this to say about the bills being passed, “I feel as though their attempts are extremely unconstitutional, they have no right to restrict voting access and the way one needs to vote. If you live in this country and are a citizen, you should automatically be eligible to vote,” and that statement says a lot, looking deeper into it, as it shows how the United States, but mainly these states trying to harden the registration system, find that simply being a U.S. citizen isn’t enough to be allowed to vote, despite it being already plenty difficult to become a citizen if you’re from an outside country.
Andrew Chapman in response to the same thing as Annika has something else he added, “I think they are doing it to prevent non-citizens from voting, but it is entirely possible they do it so only republicans can vote. For example, with the latest election, they were whining that democrats had fake votes without providing any evidence, yet when an election of any kind is blatantly thrown towards them via unfair means, they’re silent as a mouse.”
When George Bush Jr. won the election by insisting that there were hanging chads, the states accepted his victory and welcomed him into office with open arms without drama and restrictions being put into place like what is being done now, after Biden’s victory. Miles Hoogner, a high school freshman here, on that topic thought that“It’s hypocritical, but nothing new,” which is very truthful, as there has always been hypocrisy in politics coming from both sides, in that no matter who does what, politicians will always back up their own party. However, this leaves the country with acts of grasping in straws and pointing fingers with reckless abandon, rather than two well-mannered main parties with civil debates, rather than arguments.