Last week, the Rainbow Push Coalition held a panel discussion on voting rights in America. This discussion highlighted the history of voting in the United States and the current attacks on the right to vote. The panel was moderated by Donna Brazile, vice chair of voter registration and participation for the Democratic National Committee, and featured guests Rep. Mark Pocan, FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie, Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin, Harvard professor Dr. Alexander Keyssar and Ohio state Rep. Alicia Reece.
The discussion touched on the history of voting rights in the U.S. and explained that voting as a right is not specifically outlined in the Constitution. House Joint Resolution 44 was discussed during the session; which would add an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing Americans the right to vote.
“It still amazes me that we are still fighting for voting rights in the 21st century,” said Augusta Thomas, AFGE national vice president for women and fair practices. “This issue has been a passion of mine for more than 50 years and we have to keep fighting until this battle is won. Our right to vote is the great equalizer. It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone has fair and equal access to the ballot box and not intimidated by those who wish to restrict one’s right to vote.”