How Do We Protect Our Vote?

High voter turnout is a good thing for our democracy.

Long lines?

Not so much.

They're a dead giveaway of voter suppression in action, which is why everyone should be worried about what we saw this weekend in states like Ohio.

At one polling place in Hamilton County - which includes Cincinnati - almost 4,000 people got stuck in line trying to cast their ballots before the deadline for early voting expired.

Journalist Saahil Desai estimated that the line stretched for more than half a mile and would have taken at least 11 minutes to cover by foot.

Again - this is not what democracy looks like.

This is what voter suppression looks like - and it's something we've seen all across the country over the past few days in states that have done what Ohio has done and closed polling places and cut back on early voting, particularly in neighborhoods filled with minorities, students, and older people.

It'll be a miracle if we don't see even longer lines on Election Day.

Since five conservatives on the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act back in 2013, Southern states that previously had to get Justice Department approval for any changes in voting laws have closed down at least 868 different polling places.

That's right - 868!

In Arizona alone - local officials have shuttered 212 different polling places, most in places with a lot of Hispanics - which is a huge deal now that Arizona is a swing state that could end up deciding the election.

This is the reality we live in right now in this country.

The right to vote - the most basic building block of our democracy - is under siege.

And when Americans go to the polls today - they'll see the effects of this siege firsthand.

They'll have to deal with the long lines - they'll be confronted with outrageous voter ID suppression laws - and they'll have to face challenges to their voter registration that have nothing to do with stopping voter fraud and everything to do with stopping them from voting - period.

So how can we protect our vote?

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