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The surprising ways voter suppression particularly hurts women

Disabled and older women: According to the National Disability Rights Network, “approximately 3 million disabled people are disenfranchised and 40 percent of those who tried to vote reported problems voting,” said Maya Contreras, founder of the American Women’s Party, a new organization that educates the public on political rights. “Women who are disabled are also impacted by poverty, sexism or lack of access,” she added. Women can’t vote if they can’t drive, don’t have assistance with forms or computers and if the polling places aren’t handicap-accessible.

And the problem is getting worse. Since 2010, 10 states have more restrictive voter ID laws in place, seven have laws making it harder for citizens to register, six cut back on early voting days and hours, and three made it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

“Voter suppression has been something that’s been a hurdle for decades now. And it was very effective in this last election,” Contreras said.

While more women than men have voted in the last three elections, the restrictions could have a larger impact on smaller communities, many of them in rural or Southern states that happen to have most of the voter suppression laws.

America can’t say it guarantees the right to vote to all citizens, if at least 50 percent of its people face more obstacles than their male counterparts. This week, Donald Trump pushed to create stricter voter ID laws, despite there being no proof of the existence of voter fraud. With Republican lawmakers pushing for stricter voting restrictions, women can’t bank on their turnout, even in other cities or states, always being the same.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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