Tag Archives: Chicago
Voting Rights in America
The UNEDITED version – The last Paragraph in Bold was left out of the Tribune.
Aug. 6 is a sobering anniversary for those of us who care deeply about the health of our democracy. When President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law on that day in 1965, and when President George W. Bush renewed it in 2006, they were trying to prevent barriers to voting. It is tragic that efforts to bar millions of Americans from casting ballots have instead accelerated in recent years.
A new proposal in Congress to shift Tuesday voting to Saturday and Sunday by 2014 is a good idea whose time has come. The Weekend Voting Act, sponsored by Congressmen Steve Israel (D-NY) and John Larson (D-CT), deserves bipartisan support. Weekend voting will finally give busy Americans a chance to vote without squeezing another errand into their hectic work days.
It may surprise most Americans to learn that we don’t vote as much as our counterparts around the world. Europeans, Canadians and South Americansall vote more than we do. Our election schedule contributes to this discrepancy – nearly every other democracy votes on a weekend or on a holiday.