Not too long ago in this country people were lied to, defrauded, coerced and sometimes even physically beaten just for attempting to vote. The reason? The color of their skin. A landmark piece of legislation known as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. Appropriately, this law has done what it was supposed to do. It has protected all Americans' right to exercise one of the most important and indeed cherished rights of our citizenry.
Now, some 40 years later, the voting rights act is in the public debate again. Temporary provisions of the law are due to expire in the autumn of 2007. It would seem that we would simply make those provisions permanent and move on. That would make sense to me and I believe the majority of Americans would agree. However, there are some who would allow certain of these provisions to expire, and some who would keep these provisions temporary. Why? The reasons are detailed very well at www.tompaine.com in an article published today.
Voting rights abuses continue today in this country. Several elections in recent years have been tainted by suspicious behavior from both parties. Allegations of voter abuse in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election been levied and lawsuits filed. Doesn't this seem outrageous? It is a national embarrassment that we have still have voter fraud in this country. Our democracy depends on the ability of the citizenry to vote without fear or reprisal or shenanigan.
It is already well understood that money can sway votes. In our recent history we've seen millions of dollars poured into elections by the Democrats and Republicans in an attempt to win our votes. Let's not make it any easier for those who would threaten your and my ability to have our voices heard equally. Write your congressman and demand that they secure voting rights for all Americans. You can contact your local congressman at this web-site: www.house.gov/writerep. This is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It's not a racial issue. It IS an American issue.