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Editorial

OUR VOICES: Right to Vote is Not Tied to a Political Party

By Dr. John E. Warren

It appears that our recent discussions about the importance of each of us becoming Registered Voters and using our right to vote has been taken by some as an endorsement of a political party preference, as a necessity to voting. For the record, there is no constitutional requirement of a political party affiliation as a condition of voting. One only has to declare a party affiliation in states requiring such affiliation for voting Democratic or Republican in primary races. While the Democratic and Republican parties are dominant political entities, in the State of California there are more Independent registered voters than Republicans. There are also oth-er parties that many of you have heard of, such as Libertarian.

We have focused on the Republican Party as a threat to Democracy because of their national efforts to impose voter suppression in states where they have intentionally made it more difficult to vote. The Republican Party has systematically redrawn election districts so as to weaken or neutralize the Black vote with the intention of limiting Black folks and other people of color from gaining political office.

Those who are in office make policy, as we have seen with the removal of ballot boxes, the elimination of Voting Precincts so as to make lines longer and to create more difficulty for voters, the passing of laws pro-hibiting giving people in voting lines food or water while they wait to vote, and in some places the elimination of Sunday voting. The Republicans, under the leadership of Senator Mitch Mc Connell, has voted against every bill passed by the House of Representatives to bring relief to the American people in such areas as reducing the cost of prescription draws, restoring the Voting Rights Act provisions struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013, and the restoration of the protections lost under the recent Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision on Abortion Rights. Former President Trump and those who rally around him have become the party of those who would reduce or eliminate rights that so many have fought and died for.

But be not mistaken, the Democratic Party, while it has worked long and hard to restore and protect the kind of gains we have seen under President Biden, still have not done as much as it could for the people who put him in office. Without the Black vote, there would be no President Joe Biden. Yet he did not move to sign Executive Orders to fight Voter Suppres-sion as he did with great speed to help overcome or provide protections available to him after the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe vs.Wade.

For those who register to vote in the coming General Election, one may register as an Independent and still vote on November 8th. This time, it’s the Democratic Party which is the lesser of the two evils. Therefore, we need Democrats to keep control of the Senate and we need Democratic members elected to Congress to keep control of that body since all the legislation geared to the needs of everyday people are coming from the Democrats at this time.

Let’s stop looking for excuses for not registering or preparing to vote and look at what we need and want in elected officials at all levels during the next two years. Without a vote, needs and wants don’t count.

Dr. John E. Warren is publisher of The San Diego Voice and Viewpoint.

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