What Are Your Hopes For The Next Four Years? [Reader Forum]

Colorlines readers discuss voter suppression in Florida, and their hopes for the next four years.

By Nia King Nov 12, 2012

Despite rampant voter suppression by Republicans, especially in swing states such as Florida, President Obama will remain the President of the United States for the next four years. Last week, Jorge Rivas made a video documenting the hopes of us here at Colorlines.com and The Applied Research Center for the second term of the Obama presidency. Here’s what you had to say before and after the election.

In response to voter suppression in Florida, max843 said:

All of this makes me sick to my stomach – this is happening in 2012? Let’s have mandatory voting like Australia and/or vote by mail like Oregon. Revamp the entire system; make the dates and ballots the same in all states, territories and DC.

Jennifer Goetz:

I live in Oregon and I’ve been wondering, after seeing all this chaos via FB today, why all states don’t do mail-in ballots. I got to sit down with my ballot and my book explaining all the measures and what the candidates stood for in the privacy of my own home and take as much time as I needed to make the right choices. I don’t understand why so many states are still making people stand in lines and vote quickly by possibly malfunctioning machine. Voting is hard enough already without the added stress that comes with all this polling place crap.


These people need a timeout… I hope the Florida AG prosecutes Kelley to the fullest extent of the law.

TallyAnnaE, writing on November 5th:

FL AG is a Tea Party hack, former commentator on Fox News. She’s worthless. Dept of Justice is supposed to be on the ground at the FL polls tomorrow. This is absolutely disgusting and unconscionable. If Gov. Rick Scott and the FL Sec of State did their jobs properly these long lines wouldn’t exist in the 1st place. They have spent 2 years passing voter suppression legislation and fighting in court to restrict the vote. They all belong in prison. I hope Ms. Kelley spends some time behind bars.

David Tiffany comments on Tea Party groups fighting to keep voters from receiving water while standing in line:

No one should be prevented from giving water or food to people standing in line, so long as the presenter is not wearing any campaign materials (no stickers, pins or buttons), and so long as the water/food is being given to anyone who asks, without asking for any party affiliation. The Democratic Party representative is as guilty as the Republican for caving in to this challenge.

Cara Berg Powers:

This makes me very thankful to live in Massachusetts. While we are definitely dealing with voter suppression, and Press Pass TV will be at the polls making sure our communities are having their rights honored, anyone whose ballot is challenged still is able to vote, and the only time a conviction impacts your right to vote is while you are still incarcerated, and only if it is a felony. What’s scary is how much the horrible laws in places like Florida have an impact on national discourse. I have encountered many young men here who think they are not allowed to vote because of their records. Hopefully how far the suppression has gone will be a wakeup call that we need serious policy reform nationwide.

Carol Groves:

I live in Florida and this makes me feel awful. How could helping these people, who are waiting in such long lines to vote, be challenged? Do these people have no souls or hearts? Is the Tea Party made up of all haters? These actions started in 2000 and are neverending. What an example this is to present to the world? I wish they could have government people at all polling places to see that this does not happen. But I guess this is to much to ask. I just pray that this election does not end like the one on 2000.

Regarding hopes for the next four years, Ozivefueshe Dimowo said:

Whichever president wins, I hope he will end the war on drugs and frame the drug problem in a public health paradigm, and put the money wasted back into the education system those communities so desperate need. I hope he stops the drone strikes which essentially indicate that some children’s lives are less important than others. Lastly, I hope the changing demographics indicate a shift in how the GOP and Dems garner the votes of minorities.

Mitree Xena:

Stop the war on drugs. Stop mass incarceration. This is the new slavery of 2012. Don’t allow people in government to also have ties to the prisons, and the profits made from incarcerating people of color.


Thanks for this! A great list. I would underscore the comments about dropping the "clean coal" talk and creating urgency around climate issues and environmental justice (in the context of the US and the globe); and the comment a reader made about ending privatization (and private profit making) of the prison/corrections system.

Each week, we round up the best comments in our community. Join the conversation here on Colorlines.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.