While Republicans in Wisconsin, Texas, and North Carolina are trying to get in the way of our most fundamental right – the right to vote – Hillary Clinton, the front runner for the 2016 Democratic nomination, is pushing for universal registration for all citizens once they turn 18 (unless they opt out). Clinton’s idea models that of Oregon, who just this year passed universal registration legislation. Oregon has the nation’s highest voter turnout, at 70 percent.
Speaking at Texas Southern University in Houston, Clinton rightfully called out Republicans for their fear mongering when it comes to the almost non-existent “phantom threat” of voter fraud. The fear mongering, Clinton contends, has allowed state legislatures to get away with disenfranchisement of certain minority communities.
“Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of Americansfrom voting. What part of a democracy are they so afraid of,” Hillary Clinton said. Hint, Madame Secretary: they’re afraid of losing their power.
But wait– it gets even better! Clinton also expressed support for a national standard which requires every state in the country to offer 20 days of early in-person voting, including keeping polling stations open on weekends and evenings. Clinton’s vision also allows Congress to pass legislation which gives the federal government power to review changes to state voting laws before they go into effect. Such a law would effectively working around a 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck down provision mandating the Justice Department review state changes to state voting laws.
So first she calls on expanding immigration ever further than President’s executive order, and now she’s calling on sweeping reforms to how we vote. The Sanders charm must be rubbing off.
We should always find ways to expand the right to vote. That is the basis of our democracy, and it’s the most effective check and balance we have. Any candidate who wants to restrict the right to vote (Cruz, Walker) should be immediately denounced.
While Sanders advocates for Election Day being a national holiday, Hillary isn’t far off from the same kind of ideology. In an era where disenfranchising with voter I.D. laws (poll taxes) is becoming the norm, it’s refreshing to see candidates (Clinton and Sanders) who actually want to make it easier, more efficient, and convienient to vote.
Featured image via screen capture from a video provided by Huffington Post