Publicly Arresting Formerly Incarcerated Voters Is Voter Intimidation—Not ‘Election Integrity’

Under the direction of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in August arrested 20 people with felony records for breaking Florida’s elections laws during the 2020 election—even after several officials had explicitly told them that they could legally cast ballots. Some fear these public arrests will have a chilling effect on voter turnout in future elections. Already, the 2022 midterms were the first election in Florida’s history in which registered Republicans outpaced Democrats at the voting booth.

“It’s jarring to think about a grandfather getting pulled from his house by SWAT team for voting in our state,” said Neil Volz, deputy director of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

Why You Should Always Talk Politics at the Dinner Table

People think elections are run by a boogeyman—a faceless man behind the curtain, pulling the strings. But, the truth is, elections are run by everyday people with familiar faces—the face of my grandmother, the face of your uncle, our neighbors, friends. People who believe the right to vote is precious and should be protected. People who believe what I do: that elections are the lifeblood of our government.

The ballot is our greatest equalizer. It is how we can give everyone an equal voice and an equal impact on our government. But that is only true if people show up to the polls, cast their vote and trust the results.

Citizenship Requires Informed Voting

Twenty-first-century citizens should embrace the opportunity to vote. They should study their ballots. They must research politicians, their positions on key issues, and their proposed policies.

If we expect the government to provide services such as national defense, education and health services, the best we can do is show up to the voting booth prepared. Citizens owe it to the country to inform themselves about the options before stepping into the ballot box. Citizenship is not free from obligation. In the United States, voting is a right. But we should treat it as a privilege and cherish it accordingly. 

The Last Word on Jan. 6: It’s Not What My Democracy Looks Like

The historic Jan. 6 hearings have given us the details of the riot, the crush of white supremacists and armed paramilitary, the hypocrisy of some members, and the sheer, snarling hatred of some citizens on display. I’m grateful for all the work the hearings have done, and the justice they may yet bring.

More important than the vitriol and violence of that day is the truth that our America is resilient—still promised to us, if only we’ll come together to achieve it.  

The Power of Young Black Women’s Votes

Panelists discussed youth voter turnout and the importance its impact on the fight for equal rights at the Getting out the Vote for Equality Roundtable hosted by the ERA Coalition and the Howard University Political Science Department on Sept. 20, National Voter Registration Day.

“Our vote is really the only way we’ve seen our voice be taken seriously. I personally am tired of seeing Black women get robbed of their justice,” said Nandi Perry of Gen Z for Change.