My personal opinion

First, let me preface this by saying that – as a founding member of the National Voter Corps (an exclusively NON-partisan organization) – I am dedicated to the concept of One Person, One Vote, Every Vote Counted.

For me, voting is not – and should never be – a partisan issue; it is a (small d) democratic issue, and every American citizen should have the absolute right to vote, no matter the ultimate outcome of an election. That is the American way – a government OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people.

All that said, our voting rights have been under assault for quite some time now. Voter suppression methods have been used extensively throughout this country.

Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation, among other things, once famously (or infamously) stated, and I quote (emphasis mine):

I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.

My response to that is, quite simply, “I DO want everybody to vote.” When everybody votes, the will of the people is heard, and that is the meaning of democracy!!

Today, since the 2020 elections, efforts to suppress the vote have been increasing dramatically throughout many areas of our country. This must not be allowed to happen! At this time, we should all be redoubling – and redoubling again – our efforts to resist and overturn these voter suppression laws wherever and however it is necessary.

I encourage everybody (Republican, Democrat, Independent alike) to step up today and do whatever you can to promote full participation in our free and fair elections going forward, so that we may all enjoy the benefits of our system of government.

Jerry Weinberger, NVC Founding Member, Steering Committee Member; Citizen

In memory of Jerry Weinberger (1942- 2021), who started this blog.

You & The Voting Rights Battle of 2021

The Brennan Center for Justice recently published “Voting Laws Roundup 2021” (February 8, 2021) By their count, 33 states had proposed about 100 bills to restrict voting access versus 37 states that proposed about 400 bills to expand voting access.

It doesn’t sound too dismal, does it? Not until you read the details, some of which include:
• Eliminate no-excuse mail voting and eliminate drop boxes
• Require mail ballots to be notarized
• Allow the general public unobstructed access to observe absentee ballot processing and expand voter roll purges.
• Prohibit using student ID’s and require citizenship verification.

On the other hand, there’s legislation proposed to:
• Expand vote by mail and increase ballot drop boxes
• Improve “notice and cure” practices so voter errors can be corrected
• Expand return deadlines and start processing mail ballots early
• Allow same-day and automatic voter registration
• Restore voting rights to former prisoners

So, while state legislators battle over these changes, what can we – you and I – do to promote voting rights? Two thoughts come to mind.

First, make sure your representatives know how you and your friends are thinking. Thank those who have promoted rights and make sure voting rights opponents also know how you feel. Get your friends in other states involved, too.

Second, make the effort to understand the voters who believe and feel very differently from you. This is not the same as agreeing or coming to a compromise. Many excellent books and articles have appeared on how to listen carefully and ask questions that don’t make people angry or defensive. Adam Granth published an editorial, “The Science of Reasoning with Unreasonable People” in the New York Times (Jan. 31, 2021), subtitled “Don’t try to change someone else’s mind. Instead, help them find their own motivation to change.” See also Megan Phelps-Roper’s TED Talk from 2019 with “4 tips for talking to people you disagree with,” including different values.

We are all Americans and need to find something in common with fellow Americans, whether they think like us or not. I’d love to hear your ideas for more ways to bridge the divide that exists today.

Why is the NVC Non-Partisan?

It seems just about every day, we hear about new constraints making it more difficult for citizens to vote.  These barriers are being raised by state governments controlled by Republicans.  Several Republican legislators have even bragged that they have reduced voter turnout among Democrats.  Many Republican-controlled legislatures have enacted laws crafted for them by a single right-wing organization, the “American Legislative Exchange Council.”  So, in light of this unpatriotic behavior by members of one political party, why is the National Voter Corps non-partisan?

Continue reading “Why is the NVC Non-Partisan?”