This refers to all the steps that have been taken by the GOP in recent years to complicate the voting process, discourage participation and scare off new voters. As this recent report on Florida by Demos’ Tova Wang describes, these threats are real and have had an impact in 2012—in the Sunshine States and elsewhere.
But it’s also important to note that the GOP’s systematic interference—from new voter ID laws, to curbs on voter registration groups, to attempts to roll back early voting—have largely been beaten back in court this year. While there has been some thuggish behavior by GOP partisans—billboards to scare non-white voters, mailings and calls giving wrong information—the spectrum and scope of these vigilante and deceptive activities is sporadic and does not appear to be well-coordinated.
Moreover, people are watching—from voters themselves, to election protection groups staffed by lawyers, to political parties and presidential campaigns. The media has covered the GOP’s myriad voter suppression efforts and warned of obstacles that voters will face. In Florida, that includes one of the longest ballots in years—taking more time and likely causing waiting lines at polls. It includes changed polling locations and early voting hours.