Thursday, March 24, 2005

Jesse Jackson on voting

And for those dismayed over the attention not given to Monday's hearing in Ohio (just about every community member judging from the e-mails), please note Jesse Jackson's piece from In These Times (Jesse Jackson, Sr.) on voting rights. It's entitled "Ensuring Voting Rights:"

As our nation has witnessed in the democracy debacle of the last two American presidential elections--in which the loser won and the winner lost--the right to vote preserves all other rights.
Officials elected by the citizens or ones appointed by elected officials set public policy in all spheres of American life. Accordingly, how election rules are set, who is permitted to cast votes, and by what means votes are counted determine public policy--domestically and internationally.
On March 6, Americans observed the 40-year anniversary of the historic "Bloody Sunday" march, which resulted in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This act implemented non-discriminatory voting rights provisions for people of color, particularly in Southern states where race-conscious election practices were rampant. Because celebration without substance is superstition, we must call on the government to reauthorize the 1965 Voting Rights Act and fill the gaping hole in our democracy by enacting a constitutional amendment for the individual and federally protected right to vote for all citizens.

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