Top 5 things I wish I had said on Air Talk w/ Larry Mantle about Vote Allies
By Brett Shears, Founder, Vote Allies. To listen to the segment, visit http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2016/06/06/49456/a-new-program-seeks-to-increase-the-sense-of-democ/
- 1.There is mass confusion about who does and who does not have the right to vote. This is especially true for persons with felony convictions. This was evident in some of the remarks. We need to make sure people know their rights.
- 2.This is a partnership. No one is forced to give their vote away or do something they ultimately don't want to do. The point is to learn from each other and get the perspective of disenfranchised people into the voting process.
- 3.Exposure to the voting process can serve as an incentive to naturalize for non-citizens. My step mother has lived in this country for over 20 years and she is thinking about the value of voting for the first time because of this project. That makes me very proud.
- 4.The project is entirely legal. Casting a ballot informed by the preferences of someone else--like husbands consulting wives before women's suffrage--has been happening since the founding of this country. The First Amendment protects our right to do what we'd like with our vote.
- 5.Symbols matter. That this project is largely symbolic is true. However, it also says something about how much we care for people who are disenfranchised and have no voice. Elections are unlikely to be won or lost because of this project, but lives can be changed.