This article in the New York Times reminds me this Memorial Day that the point of living in a democracy or a democratic republic is to make sure that everyone has a voice. In this article both Republicans and Democrats have missed the point regarding voting regulations.
Currently too many don’t have a voice in our country. Both parties have failed in making sure that every voice is heard. If we really wanted to hear every voice we would change the way voting is carried out.
For example, voting on a Tuesday is very convenient for those working in white collar jobs, those with cars and those who have the luxury set their own working hours. However limiting voting to one day during the week means that the working poor may not be able to leave their jobs to vote. Even though the law allows it, the reality is that day laborers can’t afford to lose any pay, and if employers replace them what actual legal recourse do they have?
For those who rely on public transportation, there may not be enough time after work to get to a polling place. The same is true for single parents or those who care for the disabled or elderly.
Why not vote over 3 or 4 days so the the working poor would have a chance to vote on their day off? Voting over several days, including weekend days, would allow the elderly and others more opportunity to arrange a ride to their polling place.
We should think critically about the voices that aren’t represented in our democratic republic. Who speaks for children? Who speaks for those with disabilities? Who speaks for the elderly? Who speaks for those who are sick? Who speaks for new immigrants? How does our democratic republic allow their voices to be heard?
In the end, as the ancient Greeks knew, any society is only as good as the weakest among us. How are the voiceless faring in our nation?
Check here to see what constitutes “note faring well” or living in poverty.
Then go here to learn more.