Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We Want Early Voting.


We live in a democracy, with universal suffrage over the age of 18, right? Wrong. We live in a democracy with universal suffrage for those who can afford to skip work or school, get an ID, find a way to get to the polls, then finally cast their vote. Disenfranchising voters has been a sweeping goal of the Republican Party ever since FDR. Keeping African Americans, students, and workers away from the polls helps Republicans win, flat out. In 2008, fed up with eight years of Republican rule, these groups came out en-mass to vote for change.

In 2008 due to the hard work of College Democrats, the local Democratic Party, and the unified local to national campaigns, early voting on campus at Indiana University was a reality. Over 4,000 students took advantage of early voting on campus to vote when it was convenient for them, including myself. Early voting increases voter turnout, especially for people with hectic schedules like students. Yet the Monroe County Republican Party, along with IU College Republicans, has so far been successful in blocking early voting for the 2010 election. This surely has nothing to do with the fact that in 2008 students voted for Democrats with over a 30 point margin.

Simply put, it’s an outrage that a party in a democracy such as ours is so blatantly blocking young votes. The worst part is the Chairman of IU College Republicans, Justin Kingsolver, has actively lobbied against early voting for students on campus. On the other hand Kelly Smith, President of IU College Democrats has argued multiple times in front of the Monroe County election board for student’s rights.

Finally I’d like to say that this should not be a partisan issue. Indiana University is a school of over 40,000 students, many of which won’t vote Democrat. However I’m a Democrat, and I believe everyone deserves their vote, no matter what party they intend to vote for. I think that a white, male, Christian conservative deserves his vote as much as an African American, Muslim liberal. We’re a democracy, and it’s time Republicans start to treat it that way.

If you’re in Bloomington and want to have your voice heard about early voting students will be marching from Dunn Meadow to the Justice building with signs about voter suppression September 14th at 4:45.

1 comment:

Kelly Smith said...

The fight isn't over! please join us at our rally on 9/14.

Great piece, Logan :)

This is a participation issue, not a partisan issue