Kentucky Labor Institute
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    Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
    Did you know...that the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, first printed in 1903, is the oldest peer-reviewed publication dedicated to Kentucky history?Subscribe to the Register (only $40 per year).
    Action Center
    Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
    Did you know...that the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, first printed in 1903, is the oldest peer-reviewed publication dedicated to Kentucky history?Subscribe to the Register (only $40 per year).
  • Give Kentuckians the Right to Choose the Changes Needed to Improve Their Outdated Voting System
    Posted On: Jan 18, 2016

    Give Kentuckians the Freedom to Choose the Changes Needed to Improve Their Outdated Voting System    jwb

                For all that has been said about preserving "Traditional American Values", the use of such  expressions as Choice, Freedom, Liberty. When it comes to guaranteeing  a real Choice in exercising our most fundamental right to vote, America continues to be lacking. Traditionally, the right to vote did not include the landless, the poor, the uneducated, indentured servants, women, and certainly not those classified as "workers" (slaves). None of these had the basic Choice of voting. But times have changed , or have they?

                Many today are deprived of Choosing their elected representatives. The faulty excuse of voter fraud is used to legitimize the repression of voter Choice. Voter photo ID's  have replaced the polling tax. The availability of voting poll locations have greatly reduced the ability for voters to Choose, not to mention the hour long lines. Are these the "Traditional American Values" we want to preserve? Kentucky is among the worst examples of the suppression of Choice for its citizens.

                When and how can voters make their electoral Choices? On off year election days, in the middle of the week, between the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. ? How does this provide the voter the opportunity of Choosing their candidate if they cannot conveniently reach the polls? Furthermore, if one has a past felony record, they will never have a Choice to vote.

                Bottom line, we complain that only thirty percent of registered voters made it to the polls. Was it the slate of candidates, the quality of the campaigning, or was it the election structure apparently designed to limit voter participation to Choose? Is the system designed to limit the participation of the commuting office worker, the single working mother with children in widely dispersed schools, the worker ending her/his 5 p. m. shift? It is evident that the system has been purposely designed to limit the citizen's Choice to vote.

                What is the solution? A Bill, a bill to assure that Kentucky citizens have a real Choice when it comes to exercising their right to vote: election days on weekends, extending the hours available for voting, providing easy access to polling stations, voting by mail, improving ID systems and  accessibility (if these should even be required), restoring voting rights for past felons, revision of drug laws, adequate legal representation for the poor and minorities.

                NOW IS THE TIME FOR PROGRESSIVE LEGISLATION. Change Kentucky's outdated and un-Democratic voting system. Give Kentuckians the opportunity to CHOOSE who will be their representatives. Guarantee Kentuckians their Right to Vote.           


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