At a panel discussion sponsored by the National Press Club on May 13, APWU President Mark Dimondstein championed voting by mail, which would give more Americans access to the ballot box. This year’s presidential contest is the first national election since the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of voter suppression to get approval from the Attorney General before making changes to their voting laws….
Voting by mail is one way to protect and expand the democratic right to vote, Dimondstein said. Before discussing its benefits, he highlighted how real voter suppression was – and is.
“I am on the Board of Directors of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC,” he said. “One of its exhibits is a real-life example of a voter registration test given to African-Americans prior to the 1965 Voting Rights Act… When my college-educated sister visited the museum a few years back, she could only answer 3 of the 20 questions. This is a stark reminder of how deeply embedded voter suppression is in the history of the U.S.
We are in an era of new “Jim Crow” laws intended to suppress the voting rights of minorities, the poor, the disenfranchised, the working and the elderly, Dimondstein said. Without convenient and fair access to the ballot box, the right to vote “is indeed a right diminished,” Dimondstein added.
Part of the solution to voter suppression is to implement across-the-board voting by mail, he said. Read more.