Growing up our textbooks taught us that America was Democracy in action
Especially when it came to our cherished right to vote
“Americans are proud of what they have built”, the reader is told in “The New Ways in the New World” a 1960 vintage school textbook. “And nothing means more to them than the freedoms they have won and written into the constitution.”
“And no freedom, we are informed firmly, “is more precious than the right to vote. Americans have the right to vote as they choose.”
“The picture of the people shown above, are voting.” the book explains as if we are unsure. “The man in front of the desk is proving his right to vote. When he has done this he will take a ballot into one of the curtain booths and vote.”
Note that he was not asked for a photo ID or proof of his citizenship.
Yet today restrictive voting laws are spreading from sea to shining sea.
Over the past 2 years, more than 30 states have introduced legislation or enacted laws that would curb voters access to voting, requiring citizens to show photo ID and/or proof of citizenship to register to vote.
Some states have shortened early voting opportunities including the weekend before Election Day the very time many minorities choose to vote.
Truly New Ways in the New World
The good news is that across the country the momentum may be shifting towards a rejection of the voter laws. On Tuesday a Penn. judge ruled that the states new restrictive voter ID law cannot be put into place until after election day.
Despite other judicial victories efforts to restrict voting is still strong and ongoing.
In the 20112 presidential election not all voting opportunities are created equal.
- Pa. court rules voters can cast regular ballots without ID (sacbee.com)
- Today’s decision is a victory for Pennsylvania voters (democrats.org)
- Early Voting, Valued By Minorities, Falls To GOP Voter Suppression Campaign (huffingtonpost.com)