As election day approaches in Virginia and with the passing of Congressman Elijah Cumming I am reminded of his eloquence and passion about voting rights. His dying mother’s words, “do not let them take our votes away from us,” is a clarion call for us to do our part to protect the voting rights for marginalized populations. Also, none of us should squander our opportunity to vote.
The Republicans in Virginia have made a concerted effort to suppress the vote. Their motivation is simple. When voter turnout is high they lose.
Republican legislators have gerrymandered districts to reduce the influence of African-American voters. Luckily, a district court panel found that 11 districts were illegal racial gerrymanders with some maps redrawn for the 2019 election. Republicans also fought against Gov. McAuliffe restoring voting rights to more than 200,000 formerly incarcerated people.
Vote on Nov. 5. for Democrats who support people’s right to vote. Vote to make sure we flip Virginia Blue. Look at your sample ballot carefully since many of the school board candidates are not marked by party affiliation on your voting ballot. Remember in-person absentee voting is Oct. 17-Nov. 2. Rep. Cummings fought for the vote, and you should too.