So far, 2020 has proven quite possibly to be the worst year we have ever experienced. The coronavirus came right out of left field and has left America more vulnerable than ever. Everything which once hung by a strand has tumbled down the edge of a cliff. While, to some extent, the coronavirus did pull some fundamental problems of our country into light, the more important question to ask right now is how we got here in the first place. It ultimately comes down to our elections and who we put in charge, but with November only four months from knocking on our doors, our polling stations are struggling. As long as this country has been alive gerrymandering, or the obstruction of fair polling , has been on the rise. Just last month, five New Jersey councilmen, Michael Jackson, Alex Mendez, Shelim Khalique, and Abu Razyen, were all charged with tampering votes. They did this by directing mail-in votes straight to their doorstep. The most disappointing part of the story is that it didn't receive the outrage it deserved.
This sort of tampering is what causes misrepresentation. States like Texas, which are known as traditionally republican, are actually not fully red; instead, it's a non-voting state because of the number of underrepresented communities.. This is mainly do to the low number of polling stations. Generally, reducing the number of polling stations increases lines in communities of Black, Hispanic, and underprivileged areas - most often people who just don't have the spare time to wait in those lines.
As an inexperienced voter, teenagers don't understand the legalities and the importance behind a single ballot—the possibility of being stripped of our rights to vote increases exponentially based on our location. In many red states, more convenient voting methods are falsely accused as fraudulent, when they’re indeed not. Such methods are often used by prominent politicians like President Trump. But to every thunderstorm, there is a rainbow behind the clouds. Platforms like Democracy Docket, backed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others, work to support lawsuits on the obstruction of voting.
But right as it gained traction COVID-19 hit, creating another cut in the system. And with election day so near, there is yet another problem:most poll booth runners are over sixty, and are understandably unable to do their job due to the conditions. With them unable to work, hundreds of polling booths can shut down, leading to a further inequity and lack of voice. Teenagers and young adults, as people who are less susceptible to COVID-19, we ask you of one thing, give your community the voice it needs and deserves. Because without a doubt, if everyone is given a fair voice, the country will become a better representation of the people.
The Daily Show. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: July 13, 2020 - Hillary Clinton. 2020, http://www.cc.com/episodes/ch84a9/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-july-13--2020---hillary-clinton-season-25-ep-25124. Accessed 21 July 2020.
Elias, Marc. "About | Focus On Voting Laws & Practices | Democracy Docket". Democracy Docket, 2020, https://www.democracydocket.com/about/.
Paul LeBlanc, CNN. "City Councilman Among 4 Facing Voter Fraud Charges In New Jersey". CNN, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/25/politics/new-jersey-attorney-general-announces-voting-fraud-charges/index.html.