The New Battle For Voter Rights

Oct 5, 2018

It was the early 2000s, and time for me to cast my vote -- something I had done every election year since college. 
 
So I was startled to learn that my name wasn't on the registration list. Thinking I was at the wrong polling place, I drove to the other location, only to be told the same thing. And it was here that I came to appreciate living in Illinois. 
 

For all of its financial problems, we are a progressive state which doesn't attempt to engage in voter suppression. A voter registration card which had been mailed to me had been mistakenly returned to the registrar's office by the U.S. Postal Service, giving the appearance that I had moved away. I had not, and I was able to register to vote that day, at the polling station, and cast my vote. 
 
In recent years, after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a growing number of other states have systematically engaged in efforts to restrict voting rather than encourage it. In the early 1960s, I was too young to participate in the registration efforts taking place in the American South. Now, in my golden years, it would be a wonderful irony if I find myself traveling, not to the Old Confederacy, but to the nearby states of Wisconsin or Indiana, to help others secure a right some politicians seem determined to take away from others. I'm ready and willing -- are you? 
 
I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.