Suffrage in the USA

As the USA prepares for its national elections, it brings to mind the many comments about USA voter turnout that I have fielded over the years.

  • Why don’t more people vote in the U.S.?
  • Why doesn’t the U.S. make voting mandatory?
  • Are so many people that lazy that they don’t vote?
  • How can the U.S. monitor voting in other countries when they think their own elections aren’t monitored properly?
  • Are that many people ignorant of politics that they don’t vote?

For the record, there is no Constitutionally-guaranteed right to vote in the USA.  Unless trumped by Federal law, each State determines who may vote and how they may vote.  Our history has been replete with voter restrictions:  being male, being white, owning property, literacy requirements, poll taxes…

There are those who would prefer that not too many people vote. So we have unending schemes with which to contend, schemes to make it more difficult to qualify to vote and more difficult to vote.

  • We have various voter ID laws that pop up in some states with odd ideas about sufficient IDs.
  • We have surprise purges of registered voter rolls.
  • We have reduced voting hours and reductions in polling locations.
  • We have circulating fliers with incorrect information on polling locations. And you can’t go to any polling place to vote but just the one designated to include your registered address.
  • Also, election days are everyday work days with no time off to vote.

On the domestic level, the USA has many coalitions that monitor these schemes and fight voter suppression.  But it’s a big country. If you think voting might jeopardize your employment status, you might not go to the polls.

The question should be—How do so many citizens in the USA manage to vote?

TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb is available at Amazon and BarnesandNoble and iBooks and Audible.

Buy it. Read it. Let me know what you think. –TMLL

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One comment on “Suffrage in the USA
  1. lipsticktattoo lipsticktattoo says:

    In a recent example, North Dakota required voters to have street addresses. At first blush, this may seem innocuous. But the Native Americans living on Indian Reservations in that State generally didn’t have street addresses. Even the judge, who denied the request for a stay on implementation, noted these complications were predictable. And note, the timing—a week prior to a national election.

    I assume the homeless State residents can use the North Dakota State House street address?

    https://www.npr.org/2018/11/02/663417341/judge-rules-native-americans-in-north-dakota-must-comply-with-voter-id-law

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