Protecting the right to vote
Editor of the Reformer:
The 15th Amendment of our Constitution of the United States gives African-Americans the right to vote. Unfortunately, government officials today are still trying to deny African-Americans that right through various, indirect methods. According to an article in wsws.org, 1 in 50 adults (3.9 million people) were denied the right to vote because they had been convicted of a felony or other criminal charges. Thirteen percent (1.4 million people) of black adult males are denied voting rights because of criminal convictions. That 13 percent makes up one third of the total disenfranchised voters. In 10 states in the U.S., more than one fifth of the adult black men are denied the right to vote for criminal convictions. In seven states, one fourth of the adult black men are disenfranchised.
A 2006 article on cbpp.org gives information about a proposed bill (HR 4844) that would deny people their vote if they could not produce a passport, birth certificate, or proof of naturalization. According to a national survey from 2006, 8.9 percent of African-American people don’t have a passport or birth certificate available to them. This percentage was nearly the highest one, coming in second to the 9.2 percent of high school graduates that don’t have the documents. Luckily, this bill was not passed.
While the 15th Amendment says that African-Americans have the right to vote, our government is still unjustly finding ways to deny them that vote. It is our duty as U.S. citizens to protect the rights of our fellow citizens. Wouldn’t you agree?
junior, BUHS, Sept. 13
Editor of the Reformer:
It is my pleasure to inform the state of Vermont that the Vermont Sheriffs’ Association has voted to endorse Phil Scott in his bid for re-election as Vermont’s lieutenant governor.
The Vermont Sheriffs’ Association recognizes Lt. Governor Scott’s dedication to and support of Vemront law enforcement during his current term and anticipates the same support in the future. We believe his past and current support for Vermont law enforcement and his dedication to the state is praise worthy and consistent with the beliefs of the Vermont Sheriffs’ Association.
The VSA looks forward to working with Lt. Governor Scott in the future and wishes him well in his re-election bid.
Windham County Sheriff
president, Vermont Sheriffs’ Association, Sept. 10