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Amb. Young to Candidates: Speak Up

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

The following post by our co-founder Ambassador Andrew Young first appeared as a letter to the editor in the New York Times.

In “Let the People Vote” (editorial, June 5), you are right to applaud Hillary Rodham Clinton in making voting reform a top priority. However, I firmly believe that this issue is not about Republican versus Democrat. I believe that all Americans want the same thing: a fraud-free election in which as many citizens vote as possible. It is a disgrace that turnout in America ranks 138th out of 172 democracies around the world.

It is common sense that if you want to fill voting booths: 1) you don’t hold elections on a single working day when many people with two jobs and single working parents can’t vote; and 2) you make it as easy as possible for all citizens to register, and today that means electronically.

I won’t accept the notion that any of the candidates, Democrat or Republican, who hold themselves out as capable of leading our nation think otherwise. For example, Senator Rand Paul has publicly asked, “Why don’t we be the party that’s for people voting, for voting rights?” and has introduced a bill to restore voting rights for nonviolent felons in federal elections.

So I call upon all candidates for president to follow in the steps of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Paul by speaking up on ways to increase voter turnout.

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