Republican attempts in states they control to make voting harder for young people and people of color are the big story, but there are also the usual sprinkling of significant sub-themes in this year's contest.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued an interesting snapshot of Muslim voters in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas, and Virginia. It looks as if this is yet another hard-working immigrant constituency that Republicans have managed to alienate.
beat up on altruistic nurses.) Sixty-nine percent of eligible Muslims surveyed say they'll vote this year; their top issues were combating Islamophobia and civil liberties along with the economy.
Since the Census does not count religious affiliations, there are no certain numbers for how many Muslims are citizens. Estimates for this population run about 2.6 million; that makes it likely that there are at least one million voting eligible Muslims in play, clustered largely in the states CAIR surveyed.
A little noted side benefit of reducing the felony sentencing binge will be to make voting seem a more possible collective mode for redress of community grievances than it has been. California is actually fairly liberal about the voting rights of people sentenced for crimes: people convicted of misdemeanors have never been prevented from voting; felons are only barred when actually in prison or under parole or other state supervision. But in communities where many, many young people carry a felony record, a belief that voting is "not for us" takes hold. Yet, as the summer's events in Ferguson showed, these are exactly the communities where people need to seize the leverage afforded by the ballot. Prop. 47 is a step in this direction.