We’re not at all surprised to find the folks at Vox reporting on yet another example of white privilege, especially on Election Day. What we didn’t expect was the claim that white privilege extends to the lines we stand in to cast our ballots. Good thing, then, for today’s Vox post, “Being white on Election Day means you probably didn’t stand in a crazy line to vote.” It’s difficult to know sometimes if you’re supposed to feel guilty or not.
Vox’s piece appears to be mostly about the onus of voter ID, but it does rely heavily on research performed by Mother Jones on voting lines. “Even voters who obtain the required identification (which is easier said than done, especially if money is tight or you’ve just learned of your state’s new requirements),” writes Vox, “have no way of getting past an excessively long line, and thus no way of getting around this outrageous Election Day racial disparity.”
How outrageous is this disparity? Mother Jones relies exclusively on data from 2012, when there happened to be a race for president on the ballot, and reports that white people waited an average of 12 minutes to vote, while blacks waited an outrageous 23 minutes to vote in those excessively long lines.
The reasons for the disparities aren’t clear — [Mother Jones’ Stephanie] Mencimer wrote that there’s no evidence of an actual scheme to keep voters in predominantly black and Latino areas that tend to vote Democratic from the polls. But that doesn’t make them any less troubling.
So, in conclusion, there’s no evidence of “GOP voter suppression?” We didn’t think so, but it’s good to hear it from Vox.
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