FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
"Going To the Polls Does Not Mean You Have The Right To Vote"
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., said today that while the world closely watches us choose our next president, we must closely examine the process we use to elect all of our leaders. "The new Advancement Project report and the documentary Uncounted offer warnings about the fragile state of our electoral system. They support what I've been saying for years: Going to the polls -- which they're doing today in states like Michigan and Tennessee -- does NOT mean you have the right to vote.
"The AFFIRMATIVE right to vote is not in the Constitution," Jackson said. "Until we put it there we will continue to have presidents selected by the Supreme Court, partisan officials crafting rules in their favor, and voters disenfranchised by political games or plain old sloppiness. The Advancement Project report details a dizzying array of Election Day meltdowns, and in Uncounted there's evidence of how voting machines themselves can create problems. Without the constitutionally-protected right to vote, we don't have the power to make sure that every vote is counted in a complete, fair and efficient manner.
"Every Congress since 2001, I've introduced House Joint Resolution 28 (H.J. Res. 28), legislation calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting everyone the affirmative right to vote. It's time to scrap the states' rights-based system we have now, and place the right to vote alongside the constitutionally-protected right to free speech. Voting gives you the political power to protect all of your other rights. That power is the bedrock of our democracy. It should not be left to political whims, economic downturns and disenfranchising procedures," said Jackson.
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Deputy Communications Director
Office of Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.