The surprising ways voter suppression particularly hurts women


(Credit: Getty/Darren Hauck)

Trump got one thing right. The voting system is “rigged” — though not in the way he thinks — and it has serious consequences for women.

Every election, poor folks, transgender men and women and communities of color across genders have to jump hurdles to access one of their basic American rights, thanks to new rules that shorten polling hours, cut the number of polling places in districts, change up geographic voting lines and require IDs to vote. Not the easiest circumstances for people who can’t afford to take time off or pay for costly government documents, or may not own a car.

The issue is compounded for women. Voter ID laws alone account for an estimated 34 percent of women who could be turned away from the polls for not having the right documents, according to the National Organization of Women. Because 90 percent of women change their names when they get married, they often have different names on their identification documents.

Among the people already impacted by these laws are a handful of women who face an even harder struggle. Their time, money and safety are taken for granted — all because of their gender.

Here are a few of the impacted.

Caregivers: Women make up 69 percent of unpaid caregivers to older adults. If they’re caring for someone, unpaid, that means they don’t necessarily have the means to buy documents needed to obtain an ID, pay for a car or taxi to get to a polling place, or even take the time to step away from their person in need.

“Cultural responsibility tends to fall [on women] in sense,” said Vanessa Williamson, a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a public policy organization in D.C. She says that adding obstacles to the ones they already face as women is “compounding.”

Women who are poor or work hourly wage jobs: There are more women living in poverty than men. So if voting already impacts people with less means to legally cast their vote thanks to more restrictions, women will bear most of the burden. Plus, if a woman works an hourly job, she doesn’t have the luxury of getting paid if she misses a day or leaves work early. founder + CEO Debra Cleaver, whose job it is to get people to vote, agreed. “Tuesday is the least convenient day for people to vote. That impacts working moms more than working dads,” she told AlterNet. “They work on Tuesday and they take care of their kids on Tuesday. It’s even more impactful.”

Women who are abused: Domestic violence is a form of manipulation and the majority of victims are women. A victim of domestic violence may have no access to her own money or transportation. Her partner may be against her right to vote or even her wish to act independently.

Students: Even college students are affected by …read more

Source:: Salon


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