We Already Know Who Won the 2014 Election

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by Wendy Weiser & Lawrence Norden,

from The Huffington Post,

There is still suspense over what will happen on Election Day, with control of the Senate hanging in the balance. But regardless of who wins, we already know the 2014 election belongs to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is the first election where the country will experience the full impact of the Court’s recent decisions rewriting the ground rules of our democracy.

When the Court dismantled our laws regulating money in politics and gutted core voting rights protections, we knew those decisions would have consequences. But only now are we seeing the full scope of their impact: a return to pre-Watergate, pre-Civil Rights era practices. Cash from unknown sources is flooding the most important races, while state politicians have instituted new barriers to the ballot box for millions of Americans. Regardless of who wins, the integrity of our elections has been undermined.

For the first time in decades, citizens in nearly half the country will find it harder to vote. In 14 states, 2014 is the first major election with new voting restrictions in place. For many working class, minority, elderly, and young Americans, voting is now more difficult and expensive. For some, it is impossible. In Texas, for example, 608,000 registered voters do not have the photo ID now required to cast a ballot. A disproportionate number of them are black and Hispanic. Some have already been turned away at the polls.

While the voice of ordinary citizens grows fainter, the voice of the 0.2 percent of Americans who spend the vast majority of money in federal elections — often anonymously — is louder than ever.

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