Political party

OUR VOICES: The right to vote is not linked to a political party

By Dr. John E. Warren

It seems that our recent discussions about the importance for each of us to become registered voters and use our right to vote have been seen by some as an endorsement of a political party preference, as a necessity to vote. For the record, there is no constitutional requirement of affiliation to a political party as a voting condition. Declaring party affiliation is sufficient in states requiring party affiliation to vote Democratic or Republican in primary races. While the Democratic and Republican parties are dominant political entities, in the state of California there are more independent registered voters than Republicans. There are also other parties that many of you have heard of, such as Libertarian.

We focused on the Republican Party as a threat to democracy due to their national efforts to impose voter suppression in states where they intentionally made it harder to vote. The Republican Party has systematically redrawn electoral districts to weaken or neutralize the black vote in an effort to prevent blacks and other people of color from gaining political office.

Those in power make politics, as we have seen with the elimination of ballot boxes, the elimination of polling stations in order to lengthen queues and create more difficulties for voters, the adoption laws prohibiting giving people in voting lines food or water while waiting to vote and, in some places, eliminating Sunday voting. Republicans, under the leadership of Senator Mitch McConnell, have voted against every bill passed by the House of Representatives to provide relief to the American people in areas such as reducing the cost of prescription prints, restoring provisions of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013 and restoration of lost protections in the Supreme Court’s recent Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights. Former President Trump and those who have rallied around him have become the party of those who would reduce or eliminate the rights that so many have fought and died for.

But make no mistake, the Democratic Party, while working long and hard to restore and protect the kind of gains we saw under President Biden, still hasn’t done all it could have. for the people who named it. Without the black vote, there would be no President Joe Biden. Yet he did not decide to sign executive orders to combat voter suppression as he did with great speed to help overcome or provide protections available to him after the Supreme Court ruling in the Roe vs. Wade case.

For those registering to vote in the next general election, one can register as an independent and continue to vote on November 8. This time it is the Democratic Party that is the lesser of the two evils. Therefore, we need Democrats to keep control of the Senate and we need elected Democratic members of Congress to keep control of that body since all legislation tailored to the needs of ordinary people comes from Democrats right now.

Let’s stop looking for excuses not to register or prepare to vote and look at what we need and want in elected officials at all levels over the next two years. Without a vote, needs and wants don’t matter.

Dr. John E. Warren is the publisher of The San Diego Voice and Viewpoint.