“With a pivotal presidential election just six months away, we must do all we can to ensure free and fair elections and that everyone can vote.”
Pass the Voter Empowerment Act
Thanks to rising citizen outrage and efforts like the National Urban League’s “Occupy the Vote” campaign, the voter suppression movement is facing mounting resistance. As we reported several weeks ago, voter suppression laws in Florida designed to purge voter rolls and make it more difficult to register voters, have now been challenged by the Justice Department. There is also a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives which takes direct aim at some of the most egregious voter suppression tactics being employed or considered in dozens of states throughout the nation. These tactics include elimination of Election Day and same-day registration, reductions in early voting periods and absentee voting opportunities, and new restrictions on voter registration drives. These measures could prevent millions of eligible voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote and they disproportionately affect our service members, people with disabilities, minorities, young people, seniors and low income Americans.
As we approach the 2012 presidential election, we should be encouraging more, not less voting by the American people. In the 2008 presidential election about three million Americans were turned away from the polls due to voter registration problems. And an estimated 51 million Americans eligible to vote are not registered. Still there are those who are determined to keep even more people from voting. This is a travesty, it’s un-American and it dis-honors the sacrifice of generations of voting rights foot soldiers who fought and died to guarantee every citizen the right to vote.
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