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Voting Rights

There are certain rights enshrined within the Constitution that are sacred and paramount. The Bill of Rights guarantees every citizen access to these rights.  They are what makes our government work for its people.

But along with the rights we all cherish comes certain responsibilities that every citizen owes in order to maintain the health and well being of our state. Every citizen, when called upon, must serve jury duty.  Every citizen must honor and uphold the law. But most importantly, every citizen must participate in the governing process.  That is the heart of a democracy; the people. 

Over the years since our founding, this ideal has cultivated a collective mindset of the government vs. the people.  The government rules from on high and the people must conform to the systems of laws and regulations that are thrust upon them. As a result, the citizens have generally developed a jaded and cynical perspective of their governing bodies, and in most cases disapprove of their representatives actions, feeling they are not adequately represented or understood. 

Nowhere is this more evident than during election years.  Even in extremely heated presidential elections with the world at stake, only around a third of US Citizens feel compelled to contribute to the electorate process.  In mid-term and municipal elections, that number often dwindles to ten percent or less, with some elections being decided by mere dozens of votes.

This must change.  We are entering into a world where technology and information is available to a vast majority of people.  The means are present for our governing bodies to engage the citizens of our country on levels never before dreamed of, at all levels.  

Until the right to vote is guaranteed to all, and all obstacles to voter access are removed, we will never realize the potential of a true democracy. 

I support alternate voting methods to address the winner take all playing field we all experience today. Methods like Ranked Voting and Instant Run-off ballots would not only more accurately represent the voice of the voter, but would save millions of dollars in election staffing.

I oppose any and all attempts to restrict voter access, including racist voter ID laws, racial and economic gerrymandering, or absolutely any effort to prevent anyone from having free and easy access to the ballot.

I support making election day a federal holiday and automatic voter registration as a means of promoting civic engagement.

 

I feel a change in the winds.  Across the United States, people are standing up, taking notice, and engaging in their communities.  Change is happening at a community level, and organizations are affecting a tremendous difference in the lives of our citizens.

Perhaps soon we will see what a true democracy looks like.  And on that day, we will know what it truly means to be an American. And we will be proud.


Committee to Elect Catori Swann
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