Don’t take your precious right to vote for granted

Guy Trammell Jr. and Amy Miller

This column appears every other week in Foster’s Daily Democrat and the Tuskegee News. With that being the focus of the world, Guy Trammell, an African-American from Tuskegee, Alabama, and Amy Miller, a white woman from South Berwick, Maine, write that voting is not always guaranteed..

Author: Guy Trammell Jr.

Voting gives us direct access to our government. My father took his electrical engineering students from Tuskegee Institute to register to vote. My brother risked his life educating black people in the South to vote. In order to vote, blacks had to recite sections of the Constitution, count jelly beans, and answer ridiculous questions. Old barriers to voting are being replaced by new roadblocks. The Brennan Center reports, “In total, lawmakers in 39 states are considering at least 393 restrictive bills for the 2022 legislative session, which may disproportionately affect voters of color.” Alabama is one of the 39 states. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a federal law prohibiting racial discrimination in voting to enforce the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The law prohibits state and local governments from passing voting laws that discriminate against a racial group. This is disputed! On October 4, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court heard Milligan v. Merrill, which accuses the state of Alabama of preventing a second-majority black constituency from possibly electing a second black representative to Congress with Rep. Terri Sewell. The defense argues that state district maps must be race-neutral so that districts will not favor any racial group. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan stated, “It is one of the great achievements of American democracy to achieve equal political opportunity regardless of race, to ensure that African Americans can have the same political power as white Americans.” Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson stated, “The framers themselves adopted the provision of equal protection—the 14th Amendment, the 15th Amendment—in a race-conscious way that they were actually trying to make sure that the people who were discriminated against, the freed men, in the Reconstruction period, were really put on the same level as everybody else in society.”

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