Voting-Democracy in Action

vintage illustration voters 1960

Vintage illustration from children’s school book “New Ways in the New World” 1960

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 young 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.

vintage illustration man on way to vote

Vintage Illustration “On the way to Vote”
Vintage ad 1954 The Employers Group Insurance

Voters In-Action

Yet today a wave of 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, a time many minorities choose to vote. Voter ID laws disproportionately affect both the poor and communities of color. In Texas  the states controversial photo ID law may make it harder for women to vote due to name changes that are a result of marriage or divorce, causing problems at the polls.

Truly new ways in the new world.

In the 2014 elections, not all voting opportunities are created equal.

Excerpt from Defrosting The Cold War:Fallout From My Nuclear Family Copyright (©) 20013 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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  1. J. Seneca

    It is wholly appropriate for states to require ID and Proof of citizenship. At a time when there are so many illegal aliens in this country such requirements are called for. Voting is one of the most sacred acts that a democracy has. Not to maintain the integrity of our voting rights is a sacrilege.


  2. Pingback: The Unequal State of America | Envisioning The American Dream

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