Voting

A plea.

We’re witnessing the biggest assault on voting rights in years. It doesn’t matter if you’re pro Obama or anybody but Obama, this is much, much bigger than that. Don’t forget Bush v. Gore. Remember the disenfranchised voters of 2008. Get your own registration in order then help someone else.

There are efforts underway. One of the most significant:

“The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday sued the state of Wisconsin over its voter ID law, claiming it is unconstitutional and will deprive citizens of their basic right to vote.

The federal complaint seeks an injunction against enforcement of the voter ID law, which takes effect on February 21, 2012 for Wisconsin’s spring primary elections.

The lawsuit is currently the only active federal challenge against a voter ID law, the ACLU said in a statement.” (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/13/us-id-wisconsin-idUSTRE7BC1YW20111213)

but we can’t sit passively and wait for other people to solve this. This is a test of Gen X and African American political maturity.

The problem?

New, tougher requirements for state issued i.d.

The answer.

Senior citizens and young people will be the losers. Reach out via your church, HOA, block club to help these folks get i.d.s now. Make yourself a committee of one. There are financial barriers and burdens of proof, especially for seniors who weren’t born in hospitals.

The problem?

Felony convictions.

The answer.

Expungement. This process won’t work for all felons in time for the 2012 elections but is worth doing anyway. This can sometimes be done pro per or through free or low cost legal services.

The problem.

Redistricting.

The answer.

Double check and double source your polling spot, in advance and the day of. Leave yourself extra time.

The problem.

Purged from voting rolls.

The answer.

Check with your local registrar to make sure that you’re on the list.

“A lack of clear and specific state criteria for performing list maintenance programs has resulted in inconsistent standards between states and within states for federal elections. Poorly developed and executed programs for matching voter lists to external databases have led to the disenfranchisement of eligible voters in many states. Frequently, the disenfranchisement has a disparate impact on minorities.” (http://projectvote.org/voter-rolls.html)

This is no time to reinvent wagons. It looks like there will be more scrutiny of voter registration efforts than ever before. Sloppiness, beginner’s errors — we don’t have this lap to lose.

Get active with your church, union, League of Women Voters, any group with a track record who knows what the heck it is doing. Don’t know where to start? Begin here:

AAUW

http://www.aauw.org/act/issue_advocacy/voter_ed/index.cfm

ACLU

https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=3479&s_subsrc=110726_votingrights_web

NAACP

http://www.stand4freedom.org

http://www.naacp.org

Project Vote

http://www.projectvote.org

Rock the Vote

http://www.rockthevote.com

Southwest Voter Education Registration Project

http://www.svrep.org

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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