EDITORIAL: Scenes from Georgia primary should alarm everyone, Democrat or Republican

Mike Christopherson
Mike Christopherson

Watching what transpired during the Georgia primary last week should bother the heck out of you whether you tend to agree more with Republicans or usually see eye to eye with Democrats. Obviously, Democrats are upset because they want President Trump out of office in November, and if what happened in Atlanta and in other voting precincts in Georgia is mirrored in other states, it improves Trump’s chances of being elected to a second term.

But, Republicans, how can you not be upset, too? How is it possible for you to see voters in districts with lower incomes and higher minority populations lined up as far as the eye can see for hours and hours on end, just waiting to exercise their right to vote and not get mad? Meanwhile, in wealthier, whiter districts, there were plenty of places for people to vote and they strolled in and out with ease and were back into their daily routine in a couple minutes.

This is not how our democracy is supposed to work. It’s not how it was designed to work. 

This is where Republicans have done their damage to our democracy...at the state and local level. People tend to focus most of their energies on who’s occupying the White House and who’s controlling the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House – and rightly so – but it’s not the national-level agenda where Republicans have scored the most since Trump was elected in 2016, it’s the state and local agenda.

No, they’re not pressing their desires in city council chambers, at county commission meetings and at state assemblies. But what they are doing is filling judgeships and county and state-level positions that wield much power when it comes to deciding how elections and voting are going to be carried out in this country, with Republicans. And those Republicans in power are advancing an agenda that calls for district boundaries to be drawn in such insane fashion – there’s never been a puzzle piece in these shapes – so that Republican candidates can more easily win, and they’re shutting down dozens and dozens of voting precincts in lower-income, high-minority districts so it’s more difficult for voters who typically support Democrats to exercise their right.

These practices must end. Let people vote by mail.