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Some States Are Purging Voters: Here’s Why You Should Care


Last week, I woke up to all my politically-active friends retweeting and commenting on the same thing, and I almost couldn’t believe it.

Notice I said almost.


Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

States around the country are purging voters from their registry lists. This, of course, has been happening since the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that states with a history of racial discrimination and voter prevention no longer had to update the DOJ. Since then, they have changed their voter registration laws and procedures, but last week it went in droves.

I’m not kidding. As of October 12th, 550,000 people in Illinois had been purged. Hundreds of thousands of voters in other states around the country have been purged, too. Some are trying to chalk it up to “computer glitches.”

I call BS. Why are these glitches waiting until now, in 2018, a few days before the end of voter registration and a month before Election Day to purge these voters? Rhetorical question. Republicans know that Democrats are going to vote in droves, and they’re scared. Since the repeal of that voter disenfranchisement protection clause in 2013, Southern states have been purging voters more than jurisdictions that didn’t have that clause. While supporters might say that it is just the states getting the chance to clean up some much-needed names from the list (dead people, people who’ve moved, etc), I really don’t think that’s the case. Some might also say that it’ll lessen the chances of voter fraud — but let’s think about the fact that the people being purged aren’t dead, aren’t inactive voters, and aren’t convicted felons.

They’re people of color.

People in poor districts.

People registered as Democratic voters.

Those not getting purged? Wealthy people. White people. People registered in districts with voters more likely to vote for the Republican candidate — even if they no longer live in the jurisdiction.

This is purposeful.

This is systematic.

This is an infringement on those inalienable rights Republicans are always referencing.  

If you live in Virginia, make sure you look up your Voter Registration Status ASAP. And, if you’re one of the ones purged, check with the voter registrar in your city/county to see about what steps can be taken to rectify it before Election Day. Regardless, encourage your friends and family to VOTE. It is a right so many of our ancestors fought for — lost their LIVES for — that those of us who still have the power to blot in a circle need to do it.

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

We need to show — need to prove — that we will not be silenced in this systematic attempt at disenfranchising the America we are earnestly striving to become.

Do NOT be complacent.

Because pretty soon, it’ll only be rich, white, heterosexual, land-owning men able to vote. You know, like the original Founding Fathers wanted it to be.

You can categorize Royall as either Leslie Knope when she has her color-coded binders: or Hyde whenever Jackie comes into a room before they start dating: There is no in-between.  Royall recently graduated with her B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology from CNU and now studies Government & International Relations at Regent University. She also serves as the Victim Advocate and Community Outreach Coordinator for Isle of Wight Co., VA in Victim Witness Services. Within Her Campus, she served as a Chapter Writer for CNU for one year, a Campus Expansion Assistant for a semester, Campus Correspondent for two years, and is in the middle of her second semester as a Chapter Advisor.  You can find her in the corner of a subway-tiled coffee shop somewhere, investigating identity experiences of members of Black Greek Letter Organizations at Primarily White Institutions as well as public perceptions of migrants and refugees. Or fantasizing about ziplining arcoss the French Alps. 
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