I work as a janitor in Houston. I can’t vote, but my friends and family do. When we chat about what we want out of life, some say that they want their loved ones protected from the threat of deportation, some want to make more money, and some just want the best for their family. This is why they vote in every election.
They know that our freedom to vote is the key to winning on all the issues that matter to our families– from deportation protection, to raising the wage, and accessing clean water.
But let’s be clear. Some Republicans do not want our communities to vote. In the past few years alone, Republicans have introduced or passed hundreds of racist, anti-voter bills to limit who can vote and make it harder for some people to cast their ballots.
Right now, many states have imposed laws that require voters to show identification when voting. In Georgia, lawmakers have made it a crime to offer water to voters waiting in line at the polls. But guess what? 21 million U.S. citizens do not have government-issued photo IDs, and they are disproportionately voters of color. And lines for the polls are typically longer in– you guessed it– communities of color!
The list of anti-voter tactics goes on and on. Just a few years ago, here in Texas, the secretary of state’s office tried to purge a voter list of eligible naturalized citizens. Thanks to the ACLU and other civil rights organizations, we were able to stop this purge from going into effect. These voter suppression laws are designed to take our power, which is why protecting our right to vote is crucial.
Democracy works best when all eligible voters, no matter their zip code or place of birth, can make their voices heard. Your votes count. If they didn’t, so many politicians wouldn’t pass bills to make it harder for people to vote.
Protecting our right to vote is the path to immigrant justice.
Janitor and SEIU Texas member
Washington, DC 20036
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