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"Racist" Voter Suppression In New Mexico


Voter Suppression in New Mexico

By Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

For full story see…
Video: Voter Suppression in New Mexico

National progressive bloggers and radio commentators (Randi Rhodes) have begun to decry what they call "racist voter suppression" in New Mexico. In Randi's words, Republicans are targeting "people with Hispanic names" for harassment and intimidation with regards to voting.

When I heard Randi say this, I had to scratch my head at her conclusion of racism, because the person harassing the voters was...Hispanic.

I do not doubt for one second that voter suppression is taking place in my state. In fact, I have been a victim of it. What I doubt, however, is that it is "racist."

You see, pretty much everyone is Hispanic in New Mexico, from the governor to the secretary of state to the guy who owns the American car dealership to the former president of the university. That's just how it is here. Here, Hispanicness does not matter as much as all the other things, including party affiliation and socioeconomic class, or urban sensibilities versus rural, etc.

When Patrick and I moved back to New Mexico shortly after George W. Bush stole his first election, we had a discussion about potential voting issues in our state. Patrick, being perhaps a bit smarter than I, resolved to register as a Republican, but to vote for Democrats. That way, he reasoned, he would be less likely to have his registration tampered with by those most likely to tamper. (Plus, he said, at the Republican HQ, you'd get coffee and pastries and are treated, in his words, "like you were at the Lexus dealership," whereas the Dem HQ had wood paneling, roaches, and a surly receptionist.)

I thought, at the time, that he was paranoid. I registered as a Democrat. Low and behold, when the next presidential election came around, we showed up to our local polling place to find Patrick happily on the list, but my name mysteriously missing.

I had been purged. I was given a provisional ballot. My vote erased.

Both of us have "Hispanic last names," according to Randi Rhodes (though it is, in fact, impossible to have a "Hispanic" name and she is confusing language with invented ethnicity). We had the exact same history of addresses. The only difference was that I was a Democrat, and he was a Republican.

For full story see…
Video: Voter Suppression in New Mexico

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