We’re just four days away from Election Day, and voter suppression schemes continue to strike—as does the push back against them. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy may mark an additional, and unforeseen barrier to the vote. Meanwhile, everyday people will contribute to the way we understand this election than ever before.
As seen above, Video the Vote is empowering communities to document what happens Tuesday, from long lines to voter machine failures. Their new promo video encourages voters to sign up, monitor hot spots, and hashtag shared social media content with #VideoTheVote.
The Advancement Project has also released a short series of films, produced by Stanley Nelson, that focus on people whose right to vote was threatened this year. The inspirational films encourage people to get out and vote.
But the lead up to this election is still marred by attempts to keep certain people from casting ballots. Here are some of this week’s most important voting rights updates, including many from our community journalists in key states:
Hurricane Sandy Affects Early Voting in Virginia
Harrisonburg, Virginia, Community Journalist Hermelinda Cortes writes in that this week’s huge storm may take its toll on the election:
Political organizers in Virginia are working down to the wire and putting boots to the ground to influence the vote in the remaining days before the election. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has political pundits are making all sorts of predictions for which way Virginia will swing come Election Day. The anticipation of massive storm forced the closing of twenty-one voter registrar offices offering early absentee voting in ten counties in Virginia, including Arlington County, Fairfax County, Virginia Beach City and Suffolk Counties—four of the most highly populated areas of the state. As the storm subsided and its most disastrous effects circumnavigated a majority of the state, Governor Bob McDonnell authorized, not mandated, local registrar offices to extend in-person absentee voting hours for the remainder of the week until the November 3 deadline.
In 2008, absentee votes accounted for 13 percent of all ballots cast in Virginia. Of these absentee votes, then nominee Barack Obama won 63 percent, making his margin of victory 6.3 percent. According to Daily Kos, the Virginia legislature initially reported that the margin of victory was only 3.4 percent, because it did not include absentee ballots. However, the Virginia Public Access Project indicates that absentee voting is down by 30 percent.