Wednesday, May 26, 2010

STOP VOTER SUPPRESSION!

As you probably know, during the May primary there was only one early voting site and that was Howard School. Now, I learn that there is only one early voting site scheduled for August!

This is an outrage! In the August primary in Memphis, Shelby County will have 21 early voting sites. Why, at this time of a conservative resurgence, did the powers that be decide this was the time to do away with early voting? In previous years there have been eight to ten early voting sites.

Over the years, more and more people have stated voting early. For people in the outlying parts of the county, a round trip to Howard School is a fifty mile round trip. A lot of people will never go downtown. Many elderly will simply not vote rather than drive to Howard School. Families with only one car or no car can't get downtown.

This is not a Republican or Democratic issue. Everyone who believes in the right to vote should get involved and demand that early voting be restored. The key to getting early voting reinstated is to put pressure on the Metro Council. The council can put the funding back in the budget of the election commission. We need an outpouring of calls to council members complaining about this. Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. the Election commission will have their budget hearing before the metro council. The Council needs to hear from the public before that date! If they hear from enough people they will restore the funding for early voting. Time is short, please act now! Please contact your councilmember today.

Please contact the Vice Mayor, the five at-large members and your own council member and urge them to restore early voting. What is happening is blatant voter suppression. Please call them or email them. Please use your own words, but this is what I wrote my council member:

Sample letter:

Dear ______,
I am your constituent and my wife and I live at __________. I have not yet voted in the May 4th election but I plan to. I would have voted early but the only early voting site was Howard School. Usually there are several sites.
I now learn that the only voting site for the August election is also going to be Howard School. What is going on? This is an outrage! I know money is tight, but the right to vote is sacred. Too many people fought for the right to vote to allow such blatant voter suppression.
I urge you to not allow this travesty to occur and to restore early voting.
Thank you.

Nashville should have had multiple early voting sites even before the flood, but now there is more reason to have early voting sites that ever before. During the flood, many people lost their cars and getting to a polling place will be more difficult for many people. And, people are busy dealing with the flood aftermath and they need flexibility for when they vote. We should not be making it more difficult to vote than in any previous years since the start of early voting. Giving the problems caused by the flood, we should be making it more convenient to vote.

Here is a link were you can find the council roster along with phone numbers and email addresses. Also, if you do not know who your councilman is, there is a map where you can find out which district you are in. http://www.nashville.gov/council/council_roster.asp

Please spread the word on networking sites and get your friend to write their councilman.

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