Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Voter Suppression

After the general election four years ago, New York State was ranked a pathetic 44th in voter turnout.  Obama won a second term in the White House, but less than 54 percent of New York voters cast ballots.  That was significantly below the 76 percent of Minnesota voters, who earned the highest percentage in America.

In 2013, the Supreme Courts ruled in the case, Shelby County v. Holder.  That decision will go down as one of the court’s absolute worst, because five justices ruled a key provision of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional.

Section 5 was referred to as the heart of the Voting Rights Act, because it required pre-clearance of any changes to the way elections are run in certain parts of our country.

Since 1965, Congress had reauthorized the Voting Rights Act four times, by huge bipartisan margins, but the decision, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts decided the formula Congress passed was unconstitutional.

Republicans decided that since they can’t beat Democrats on issues, they’d resort to passing laws that had the effect of suppressing Democratic voter turnout.  A year after Section 5 was declared unconstitutional, the Brennan Center for Justice estimated that more than 5 million voters would be affected by those laws.  That number is higher than the margin of victory in the 2000 and 2004 presidential election.

The vision that people have for our country is articulated through their vote.  Whether or not people will have their opinions considered is through the power of their vote.  And if Republicans deny or discouraged access to the polls, the very underpinning of our democracy will be weakened.  No matter how much Republican try to rig the game, TODAY we must elect law makers at every level of government, who will respect every citizens right to vote.


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