Voting Is A Right - AND Magazine
GET UPDATES ON VOTING RIGHTS, VOTE, AND DISCRIMINATION.
Politics: The Left
The liberal perspective.
By Fraser Sherman
POST AND READ 5 COMMENTS
Author Sponsor: (Advertise here)
MORE IN Politics: The Left:
Religion as Politics RELIGION AS POLITICS
Russia, China Eye Pact? RUSSIA, CHINA EYE PACT?
Re-Hab Carter Image RE-HAB CARTER IMAGE
Not so Manly NOT SO MANLY
Method Madness METHOD MADNESS
The Artful Dodger THE ARTFUL DODGER
CIA Catch 22? CIA CATCH 22?
Is Putin Crazy? IS PUTIN CRAZY?
Let Chivalry Die LET CHIVALRY DIE
Pizza Diplomacy PIZZA DIPLOMACY
Counting on Votes COUNTING ON VOTES
Don't Be Such Haters DON'T BE SUCH HATERS
That Love of Freedom THAT LOVE OF FREEDOM
Prison Education Works PRISON EDUCATION WORKS
Congressman Aiken? CONGRESSMAN AIKEN?
Royals Remain Relevant ROYALS REMAIN RELEVANT
Not the Same at All NOT THE SAME AT ALL
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Fraser Sherman
Having graduated college with a degree in biology, no interest in grad school, and no interest in a science career, Fraser Sherman decided he’d try writing. It turned... (READ ON)
Cover: Afghan Bombs Left Behind
Afghan Bombs Left Behind - Children are dying from abandoned U.S. explosives
Voting Is A Right
Some Republicans wish it wasn't
Wake Up, America!
Wake Up, America!
Vintage World War 1 era poster reads Wake Up America! Civilization calls every man woman and child. Lady Liberty in vintage historical colors of red white and blue. | Photo: zazzle.com
More: women | vote | vintage
[Publishers note: This editorial is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of AND Magazine or it's staff.]

Some people have a very hard time grasping the fact that voting is a right.

Not a privilege. Not something people are entitled to if they vote for the correct party. It's something they're entitled to whether they vote Communist, fascist, Democratic, Republican or the National Silly Party. Unfortunately, a depressing number of conservatives don't seem to think that's the case.

New Hampshire Republican William O'Brien, for instance, said this year that voting restrictions he supported were good because they make it harder for young people to vote. And youth voting is bad, according to O'Brien, because they vote liberal.

Pennsylvania GOP Chair Rob Gleason said in an interview that voter ID cut Obama's lead over Romney in 2012 by 5 percent, so that proved voter ID was a good thing.

Pundit Ann Coulter has said that taking the vote from women is a personal fantasy of hers, as without the woman's Democratic vote, there'd be no more Democratic presidents.

John Stossel said in one column some years ago that people who don't agree with his libertarian views are so obviously wrong, they should lose the vote for being ignorant.

Think-tanker Frank Gaffney said recently that letting people vote when they sign up on the Affordable Care Act website is "creeping socialism" that will lead to "a permanent majority demanding government hand-outs, and the end of America as we know it."

(I have strange suspicion that Gaffney's objection to people "demanding government handouts" doesn't extend to, say, wealthy baseball-team owners or politicians getting federal farm aid. It's only socialist when poor people get help from the government).

I can understand the right-wingers' feelings, believe me. I think the current Republican Party is a disaster whose policies, in Gaffney's words, would bring about the end of America as we know it. Because an America with no social safety net, no work

Suggestions the poor shouldn't vote because they're parasites plays into stereotypes
ers' rights, absolute power for the rich and increased freedom to discriminate against anyone who's not a straight white Christian male has no resemblance to the country I've known most of my life. People voting for Republicans is, I think, I very bad thing (even though plenty of Republicans don't sign on to that entire ugly agenda, any more than I sign on to everything Obama supports).

But there's no way in hell I'll ever support a plan to strip Republicans — or Communists, fascists or Christian theocrats or Muslim theocrats — of their right to vote. Deciding who has that right isn't my call to make. Other than the basics (age, citizenship, registration) it's not anyone's call to make. Nobody has to earn the right to vote by having the "correct" politics, gender, race, faith or anything else.

Sure, I think voting Republican hurts the nation; plenty of Republicans think the same about me voting Democratic. That's pretty much life in a free country. When it reaches the point you think saving democracy means stopping Them from voting (whoever your particular Them might be), you're doing it wrong.

Related:
HIGH PRICE
Implications of the Voting Rights Act
HOW TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER
A step-by-step process on how to vote without being partisan
It's seductive to think otherwise. Take women voting: for people who still believe men are supposed to be in charge, arguing that women are just screwing up the country with their silly votes may sound very reasonable. Likewise, suggestions the poor shouldn't vote because they're parasites plays into stereotypes too. If making it harder for those groups to vote also helps you politically, well that's even better.

But setting voting requirements to make it easier for the "right" people to win isn't protecting democracy. It's perverting it.

Your Comments:
I would totally support voter ID laws if there was any evidence they prevent fraud. There isn't. Why? Impersonating other voters is a stupid way of stealing an election. It's way easier to bribe an official, change hundreds of votes at once.
            -- Nick B, Saturday, December 21, 2013 4:13 pm
Um, Robert Cleveland, more legitimate voters have been disenfranchised than fraudulent voters inhibited. It is very infrequent that voter fraud has turned an election, but a strong case can be made that George Bush III won due to voter suppression in FL.
            -- ChuloDO, Saturday, December 21, 2013 3:44 pm
And more to the point, your argument hardly excuses people who say specifically that they want to restrict voting to stop people from voting the "wrong" way.
            -- Fraser, Friday, November 29, 2013 4:56 am
We've already heard example of registered voters running into trouble in Texas, and Florida disenfranchised a lot of voters under Jeb Bush. So the reality doesn't seem to match the idea.
            -- Fraser, Friday, November 29, 2013 4:55 am
Voting IS a right, but why should we allow voter fraud to proceed unchecked? Voter ID laws can be implemented without disenfranchising legal, registered voters, and will bring legitimacy back into our elections process, as fraud is eliminated.
            -- Robert Cleveland, Wednesday, November 27, 2013 8:50 am

Post your Reply:
Add your photo!
Type this number -> here ->

Dig deeper:

"Voting Is A Right | Some Republicans wish it wasn't"
Editorial ID #13392, 579 words, first released November 26, 2013, 5:00 am
Guess who:

Gwne enRée fatniSe, robn rbOeoct 3, 9961, is an amniArec inegsr-eorirntwgs, ihsfaon dgenseir adn ilosnaaocc stcaser. natSfei is...

(Yes, the caption is scrambled a bit to sharpen your mind.)

Clues:
AND Magazine c2009-2013 Legal & Privacy | | Advertise here
Footer cap