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.

Dismantling the ‘Latino Republican Voter’ Myth—With Voto Latino’s María Teresa Kumar

In the last several years, a popular narrative has emerged: The rise of right-wing extremism has been fueled by a surge in Latino support. María Teresa Kumar, head of Voto Latino, says this is simply untrue. 

Ms. spoke to Kumar to try to understand the proliferation of the ‘Latino Republican voter’ myth. As the head of an organization focusing almost exclusively on engaging young Latino youth in the U.S. political process, she helped me make sense of the election aftermath, the messages she thinks Latino voters sent through the way they voted, and why it’s time for progressives to double-down on Texas.

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.

Voter ID Laws Put Women’s Votes at Risk

Millions of American women—including the remarkable wave of women voters who registering for the first time—are currently at risk of being prevented from casting a ballot that counts. The reason? Voter ID laws that create additional barriers and cause confusion and uncertainty about people’s ability to vote.

Making sure that women know the precise documents they’ll need on Election Day will ensure they can have their votes counted with minimal bureaucratic hurdles. 

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. 

Need-to-Know Midterm Ballot Measures for Feminists

Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have allowed the Republican-dominated state Legislature to severely restrict access to abortion. In the midterms, there will be five more ballot measures on abortion across the U.S.—the most on record for any single year.

Other noteworthy initiatives include minimum wage amendments in Nevada and Nebraska; a collective bargaining measure in Illinois; a right to healthcare amendment in Oregon; Medicaid expansion in South Dakota; and a New Mexico amendment to direct public money to early childhood programs. Five states—Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont—will decide whether to repeal language from their state constitutions that allows for enslavement as punishments for crimes.

Black Women Lead: From the Stage to the Streets

Our focus is on building the leadership capacity and political power of Black people and women. But we are struck by the complementary activism taking place in the arts to underscore this moment in history and to inspire progress.

Broadway’s Tony-nominated POTUS, Natalie Moore’s The Billboard and Molly Smith’s upcoming Arena Stage production, My Body No Choice, remind us to trust women as we collectively work to get our republic back on track.

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.