Friday, August 04, 2006

voting equality?

from the plain dealer, friday, july 28th:

Voting Wrongs by Norman Robbins

"...research by the Greater Cleveland Voters Coalition shows that inaction, discriminatory legislation and selective enforcement of laws may comprimise tens of thousands of votes, especially those of low-income and minority citizens, and of 2004, organizations that employed community people to register voters in low-income neighborhoods had excellent results. However, new Ohio legislation imposes internet hurdles, extra forms and misdemeanor and even felony charges for even minor infractions by paid registration workers..."

the article goes on to list a number of ways in which low-income and minority voters are disenfranchised, such as inability to get to the poles due to systemic issues (unable to get off work, or find child care) and how public assistance agencies are technically responsible for helping their clients register, but often dont.

does anyone else have issue with the fact that the people who most need the vote (since they control nothing) are least likely to be in a position to vote?

jeff hess and i got in a debate about it, his point being that people can just mail it in (absentee voting) and i say that even that can be problematic if you havent been registered, or if the return envelope is not pre-stamped (and jess says that if you dont have the forty cents for a stamp, you are mismanaging your money)

what is the point of being a democracy if you are going to still keep portions of your community powerless...i think we have officially become a classist society, and i am tired of it!....i think i need to go back to the voting rights act and see if it mentions economically disadvantge as a minority status

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