Ross: Beat the vote suppressors at their own game

Jan 21, 2022, 5:43 AM | Updated: 10:03 am
Voters arrive at Bryn Mawr Community School on Election Day on Nov. 2, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (File photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
(File photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Democrats have promised to keep fighting for voting rights, and that includes Washington’s 6th District Representative Derek Kilmer.

So, I tried to sell him my idea – that the best way to deal with states that put up obstacles to voting is to relentlessly teach people how to comply with the new rules: make sure their registration is accurate, make sure they have a ride to those remote drop-boxes.

I call it radical compliance. Beat the vote suppressors at their own game!

“Well, here’s how I think about it. This notion that there was massive fraud is, one, demonstrably untrue, but two, is driving a lot of these changes in voting rules,” Kilmer said. “And unfortunately, it’s happening in a very targeted way that’s denying people the right to vote.”

So I asked: Do you think there is any chance at all that this campaign would get people so mad that they would do whatever it takes, despite all these roadblocks, to vote in huge numbers and the whole thing would backfire? Or am I just dreaming?

“I think the other question, Dave, and I would ask this of you, is should they have to overcome all of those barriers?”

“I hope people will overcome these barriers, but I don’t think they should have to,” Kilmer added.

As you can hear, Rep. Kilmer wasn’t buying my idea. He feels Congress has a responsibility to remove all the obstacles that discourage qualified people from voting.

So, I went back and looked at the 2020 election numbers here in our state. Turnout was 84%! Which sounds great!

But look more closely at that number: An 84% turnout means that 777,286 ballots were never returned. That means 777,286 people who had a ballot PLACED IN THEIR HANDS lacked the motivation to fill them out – in a state where no one had to wait in line, and no one had to hunt for some remote drop box.

And if that’s any indication of how seriously people treat this right that everyone calls sacred, Congress would have to do a lot more than pre-empt a few laws to fix the problem.

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Ross: Beat the vote suppressors at their own game