For N.R., punished for voting in the United States

The elementary school
where she had voted for years
was just across the street
from the assisted living facility
where she now lived.

The children from the school
often came over
to sing or play board games.

She has some memory loss,
but she remembers
that doing this is important.

There are no codes,
no doors with alarms,
and residents walk the grounds,
but they are not supposed
to leave the premises.

After she crossed the road
for the New Hampshire primary,

they sent her away
to a strange town,
a building with many more locks,

saying —
she was a danger to herself …
and why would an old woman
expect to vote anyway?

The words below are from my denomination’s (the United Church of Christ) advocacy. Please consider supporting this or parallel actions regardless of your country or faith stance. There are many who for a wide range of reasons are prevented from voting.Among them are those who are old, those who are non-readers, those with limited English language facility, those who do not have an established address, those who have served their terms in a correctional facility, those who live in protectorates … those who face local discrimination.

“This week faithful advocates from around the US will head to Capitol Hill to voice their support for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act as part of the 2016 Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Join them in calling on Congress to Support the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015.

The bipartisan Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a great step toward eliminating legal barriers to the voting booth. However, in 2013, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder eliminated a vital discrimination prevention process within the Voting Rights Act.

In 2016 voters will go to the polls for the first presidential election year in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. Congress must pass legislation that restores core provisions of VRA.

Act now – Urge your legislators to co-sponsor the VRAA!”

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2 Responses to For N.R., punished for voting in the United States

  1. Thank you for this message. Voting IS important! I hold dear the memory of assisting my parents to vote in a new county office building located on their former farm property. Without family or friends to assist I’m sure many seniors are left out of the process.

  2. Maren says:

    So true. My mother (who was born before women could vote) voted after her sight and her use of hands was gone. She died October before the last US national election and, knowing that she was going, asked that in her obituary it should read “forget the memorial gifts, just get out and vote!”

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