State and Local Laws/Barriers to the Ballot . . .
The very right to vote is the foundational principle of our democracy. Such noted heroes like Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, and other suffragists fought for every American to have the right to vote. Protecting the vote is more important now than ever, as the Trump administration ramps up efforts to make it harder to vote.
There are actions you can take right this moment to change how elections are conducted, and make voting more accessible for every eligible person in our community. These actions do not require your state's legislature to change any laws, or a court to issue a new ruling. A study conducted by political scientist's at MIT, found that in 2016 more than 1 million Americans were not able to vote because of problems like long voter lines, mail ballots not arriving on time, and registration problems. That is 1 million people who desired to vote and could not, in an election decided by fewer that 80,000 voters across 3 states.
From across America, officials at the state and local level are charged with implementing voting laws and rules. These officials work all year to establish and manage elections, not just on Election Day. These person are rarely heard from because most them just want to make doubly sure elections run as they should. But state and local officials don't always have access to the resources they need to drive the result we all desire: fair, equal, and easy access to the ballot, for each voter in our state.
Election officials need to know that we demand fair, equal, and easy access to the ballot. Hear are a few suggestions that can be helpful to each of us as it relates to voting:
- Call your Statewide Election Official - so that you can get a better understanding of how elections are operated in your state.
- Call your Local Election Official - so that you can better understand how elections are operated in your community.
- Become a Poll Worker - a friendly knowledgeable poll worker can be the difference between a citizen successfully voting and a voter being inadvertently turned away from the polls.
- Register, Register, Register - the first step towards participating in our democracy is to register, so register everyone you know, including yourself if you are not a registered voter.