Discussing
The Voting Rights Act: have we overcome?

Ted Williams III

Ted Williams III
August 25, 2015

Recent challenges to the Voting Rights Act should be of concern to Christians in particular.

Doug Vande Griend
August 27, 2015

I'm not at all sure that true and pure universal sufferage is the solution to anything. We could let 5 year olds vote, and thereby increase the number of voters, but I would suggest doing so would reduce the thoughtfulness aggregately applied by society's elective acts.

It should be noted that not all crimes result in the denial of voting rights. Generally (although state rules differ), only felonies do.

One must ask the question: is there anything that should deny a person the right to be a part of society's election acts? If the answer is no, then 5 year olds should vote. If the answer is yes, than I would suggest it is certainly arguable that the wisdom of society's elective acts is increased when those who commit felonies (murder, rape, burglary, etc., not merely shop lifting, pot smoking, etc.) are deemed ineligible to help decide who makes our laws.

If this is cast as a matter of justice, I would argue that "paying one's debt to society" is an overused cliche that is not necessarily true just because it is oft repeated. Few who commit serious felonies ever even pay ordered restitution to their victims (for lack of financial capacity), let alone "make up for" the nonfinancial damage they created. On the whole, are these social fabric destroyers the people we want to make sure are included when we vote on referendum questions?

Yes, God can and does forgive all kinds of sins, but that analogy cannot be so simply applied to government. If it is, government should not prosecute or imprison (let alone issue speeding tickets) in the first place.

Albert Hamstra
August 27, 2015

Thanks for this article, Ted. The disenfranchising of felons from the right to vote is a political tactic meant to ensure that the votes of black and brown people are minimalized. The reason we do this in the USA is because denying voting rights is a legal way of ensuring the maintenance of white supremacy. As we white people become a demographic minority, such strategies will likely increase. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Doug Vande Griend
August 27, 2015

The disenfranchising of felons from the right to vote is a very, very old practice and cannot plausibly be substantially connected to a racial motivation.

Not everything is about race. And certainly, not everything is about "white supremacy."

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