Hillary Rodham Clinton is starting her campaign off on the right foot with an early emphasis on voting rights. The widespread Republican campaign to engage in voter suppression flies in the face of our democratic values and is only designed for cynical statistical advantages.
Republicans can’t point to any recent instances of a campaign result changed by voter fraud, and their efforts in this regard will create a backlash by encouraging groups such as African-Americans and senior citizens to vote against them. If Republicans were smart, they would try to improve their demographic appeal and expand their base. Doing so would build a foundation for the future instead of limiting them to their past supporters.
Instead, however, the Republican Party seems to be becoming more and more restrictive. Candidates need to follow the conservative script on immigration, marriage equality and climate change; otherwise, they will be drummed out by the party’s activists. In fact, some in the Republican Party are clamoring for a “true conservative,” a move that will surely result in their defeat.
Meanwhile, Hillary is going beyond voter ID to fight other Republican attempts at voter suppression such as eliminating or curtailing early voting. Early voting is only designed to encourage that most American of traits, going to the polls. And she will call for re-integrating former felons into our society by, under the proper circumstances, letting them vote as well.
Since its founding, this country has moved to encourage voting participation, expanding the franchise to women, blacks and young people. If Republicans wish to stop this history, they will soon find themselves as extinct as the days they are trying to usher back.