This week marks the 47th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. This act prohibits discriminatory voting practices that have been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of millions of people over the course of U.S. history.
While our nation has made multiple strides in the area of voting rights, in recent months we have seen an increase in the number of laws that add barriers to voting. These laws require specific forms of photo identification to be present to vote, reduce early voting in certain states, and make voter registration done by nonprofits and civic organizations more challenging. In Michigan, Governor Snyder vetoed bills that would have made voting in our state more complicated and disenfranchised thousands. In an effort to eliminate voter fraud, we have haphazardly created more barriers to voting. This ultimately reinforces what Voting Rights Act was attempting to prevent.
Voting is a right. Removing barriers to voting and to make it more accessible is important. Nonprofits in Michigan are aiding in this process by participating in MNA’s 2012 Track the Vote. Not only do nonprofits see accessibly as an important part of electoral engagement, but government agencies do as well.
Recently, the National Association of Secretaries of States declared September 25th as National Voter Registration Day . This announcement falls in line with months of coordination by nonprofits and civic organizations across the country who are already mobilizing people to register to vote on this day.
It is important to remember the history of voting in our country and acknowledge the struggle that it took to get here. It is equally important for all organizations, including nonprofits, to encourage legislation and policies that erase barriers to voting and encourage 100% voter turnout.
Finally it is important to vote, and you can start today!
Vote in today’s Primary Election.
Not sure where your polling location is for today’s primary visit the Secretary of State website .
Have questions about who is running, view the candidates here.
Remember all of the people who fought long and hard to guarantee us these rights. And don’t forget to vote!