Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why Do We Care About the Voter ID Law?

By Wendi Taylor, PA Chapter Chair

Why should the Sierra Club care about Pennsylvania’s Voter ID law?

The Sierra Club relies on a fair political system in order to protect the environment. Suppressing the votes of young people, Latinos and African Americans directly affects our ability to protect the environment because these are the same people who are most likely to vote for candidates who support efforts to combat pollution and climate disruption… and candidates that support clean, renewable energy sources and the good jobs they create.

Further, the rash of Voter ID laws can be traced directly to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the many business interests that supports them, including some of the most polluting industries in the world. They know that shrinking the vote will expand their ability to run our state legislature. Our elections should not be based on who can give the most money

Some people ask: Why is the voter ID law a big deal?” After all, we have to show our ID all the time --to apply for a library card, to cash a check or to get a driver’s license. However, those aren’t rights, they’re privileges. Voting is a right – a constitutionally guaranteed right. 

When our state legislature deliberately -- and without cause -- throws obstacles in the way of a person’s right to vote, that’s wrong.  And any law that is enacted which discriminates against certain people, that’s wrong.

The Sierra Club should always protect access to the ballot box.

The labor movement and the civil rights movement has taught us that if all stand together, we can win! Together, we must make sure that every citizen has the ability to vote. One person, one vote; That’s the American way! 

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