Voter suppression is as old as America itself. In fact, according to the ACLU, after Former President Barack Obama’s sweep in 2008, 30 states introduced voter suppression legislation in 2011. This voter suppression is frequently racially motivated, as one in 16 eligible African-American voters is disenfranchised (which is a rate 3.7 times greater than the general population.) Additionally, although our elected officials are supposed to be elected by the majority of Americans, ⅔ of America’s 21st century presidents lost the popular vote. Voter suppression is alive and well, and is a manipulative tool used to restrict the rights of minority groups.
WHAT WE WILL FIGHT FOR...
We will fight for youth voter enfranchisement. Because democracy and government is the method by which rights are given to the people of the United States, and a democracy that prevents young people from participating is one that actively seeks to harm its younger members.
We will fight to enact federal term limits. Because term limits better enable new voices within government, who are often representative of groups just gaining a general voice within our democracy. Term limits would ensure that the government stays fresh and relevant, and truly relies on the people rather than name recognition and alleged experience.
We will fight for ranked choice voting (RCV). Because ranked choice voting embraces Democratic ideals by ensuring that our elected officials win the majority of their constituents' vote. We have seen that ranked choice voting both expands voter turnout and enables more women and people of color to run and win than our current voting system. Ranked Choice Voting strengthens our Democracy.
We will fight for DC statehood. Because the lack of DC statehood is blatant voter suppression, and works to diminish reproductive rights. For BIPOC women today, the choice to have a child and start a family is dangerous, due to systemic racism in the healthcare industry. DC citizens are entitled to the right to prevent, or terminate unintended pregnancies for their own personal freedoms and for their personal safety. Additionally, all residents of DC deserve to have representation in Congress that will fight for their right for reproductive freedoms.
We will fight to expand voting accessibility. Because disenfranchised voters are overwhelming BIPOC, young people, and socioeconomically disadvantaged. A true democracy does not silence anyone, and should elevate the voices of those who struggle the most.
We will fight to elect presidents by a national popular vote. Because all voters should be valued equally in presidential elections, regardless of their race or state of residence. We should elect the president by a national popular vote and abolish the electoral college.
We will fight to expand the Supreme Court. Because expanding the Supreme Court will enable more progressive judges to expand ballot access as well as protect our constitutional rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and reproductive rights.
We will fight to end gerrymandering. Because gerrymandering is effectively disenfranchising millions of Americans and we must require each state to draw districts that accurately reflect the political views of the American people.
“When I hear the word, “democracy”, I only picture me and my fellow friends getting fair representation through our voices and in our own people in power. Yet, it’s quite opposite. Although I am only 15 years old, I already feel ignored in government. I’m fifteen years old and I pay civic courses to understand what’s going on in government everyday. I’m fifteen years old and I have already seen my family members and my community be forced out of polling stations during elections because of who they are and/or what they look like. I’m fifteen years old and I feared for my own life when Amy Coney Barret was announced the next SCOTUS judge. I’m fifteen and this isn’t something I should be experiencing. I should feel important and valued by my own representatives, but instead feel scared and worried for how my future will be. And I’m certainly not alone. That is why we need to reform our democracy. We need to provide civic education in public schools to ensure that kids understand their government and influence policy through their own voices. We need to fight for voter accessibility, expand polling sites and give basic voting rights to felons and people of color so they can amplify their voices in the election. We need to limit judicial and Congressional terms, along with expanding the Supreme Court so it gives fair representation to people who have been oppressed for so long. Being able to be heard through every political process so that no one is left behind must be done. We need to reform our democracy so when one day, future generations hear the word, “democracy”, they will imagine their reality. The reality of getting fair representation through their voices and in their own people in power as they deserve.”
- Tasfia Ahmad, NJ, Generation Ratify NJ Chapter Lead