Posts Tagged ‘voting’

The problem with black history month is that one can slip into the mindset that it’s all about what happened way back when – RIGHT? – but it isn’t. For instance, The Eight Box Law of 1882. It was a nastily clever way to disenfranchise black people in the late 19th century, not dissimilar to activities designed to do the same thing even 80 years later.

Then you recall there are all sorts of ways the system is trying to disenfranchise certain people in the first part of the 21st century, with voting rolls purged in certain neighborhoods; required IDs that are increasingly difficult to acquire; and fewer polling places, so that voters, facing long lines, will be discouraged.

And I’m not even going to get into gerrymandered redistricting.

From Think Progress (2016): “In 2013, North Carolina — led by the GOP — approved a law that eliminated same-day voter registration, cut a full week of early voting, barred voters from casting a ballot outside their home precincts, scrapped straight-ticket voting, and got rid of a program to pre-register high school students who would turn 18 by Election Day. That law also included one of the nation’s strictest voter ID requirements.

“Federal courts struck down most of the law after finding that it was passed with the intention to suppress African-American voters ‘with almost surgical precision.'”

You read that Sentencing Commission Finds Black Men Receive Longer Sentences Than White Men For Same Crime. You may have instinctively known that, but it’s good to have it verified.

And then you remember that, in most states, people that are in the prison system can’t vote, so that’s another method of disenfranchisement. And people who have served their time, “paid their debt to society,” STILL can’t vote in some states, in a few jurisdictions, FOREVER.

So you latch on to the notion that “progress” has been made. and surely there has been. But in a system of two steps forward and two steps back, it can feel a lot like standing still.

vote-button-3I’m voting in favor of the two propositions on the ballot on Tuesday, January 10. The school district notes that “enrollment from prekindergarten through eighth grade has grown 26 percent – about 1,400 students – over the last eight years. It is forecast to continue to grow well into the next decade.”

Proposition #1 is a $6.5 million package of updates, providing an “equitable learning environment” for students at 50 North Lark Street, in advance of September’s opening of the new middle school to serve students on the city’s north side. About 400 students will attend in the 2017-18 school year. This will reduce crowding in the city’s other middle schools, one of which my child attends.
Read the rest of this entry »

christianleftI received this offer in an email recently:

The still, small voice of God struggles to be heard over the voices of the loudest candidates espousing anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic, anti-LGBT sentiments–especially when they use God as their source. How do we get heard?

In the 35-page Progressive Christian Voter’s Guide, leading progressive Christians Read the rest of this entry »

womenvoteThe arc of American history had always been to make voting available to more people. The 15th Amendment (1870) prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude, though it required The Voting Rights Act of 1965, nearly a century later, to enforce it.

The 19th Amendment (1920) prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on sex. The 24th (1964) prohibits the revocation of voting rights due to the non-payment of a poll tax or any other tax. And the 26th (1971) allowed eighteen-year-olds (like me, that year!) to vote, and you better believe that I did.

One could make the case that the 17th Amendment (1913), which provided direct election of United States Senators by popular vote, and the 23rd, which granted the District of Columbia the right to participate in the Electoral College, also fall in this category.

Thus, the move to limit voting I find antithetical to this democracy. I’m told by proponents that voter ID is “easy” to come by. Yet it has proven to be anything but. Read the rest of this entry »

voting.boothIt’s a bit too much.

I am a huge supporter of the right to vote. But, in the city of Albany, I’ll have WAY too many opportunities in 2016. And except for the first item, this would also apply to the rest of the state.

*High school referendum revote: February 9. Polls Open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Vote at the elementary school.

*Presidential Primary: April 19. Polls Open 12 noon-9 p.m. Vote at the library.

The polling hours, not incidentally, are a source of irritation among some of us in upstate New York. Read the rest of this entry »

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