The nation’s poor have less access to polls

The following Letter to the Editor was published in The Daily Sun on Jan 30, 2022.

A recent (1/26) Daily Sun letter applied right-wing spin to question legitimate concerns for voting rights. Far from attempting to marginalize groups of voters, voting rights advocates are trying to ensure that all citizens have fair and equitable access.

At a basic level, common sense suggests that some groups – those close to or below the poverty line, for example – have less access to time off from work and transportation. Both of these issues affect one’s ability to reach and stand in line at a polling center.

Now let’s take it a step further and recognize that in the U.S. we still have a tragically wide racial wealth gap, including the rather sad fact that according to one source [2017]: “White families with an unemployed head of household had almost double the wealth of Black families with a fully employed head of household…” Other statistics and a good analysis of the genesis of the racial wealth gap are available to those who don’t fear the “discomfort.” It’s an eye-opening read that may debunk some misconceptions. The Racial Wealth Gap (investopedia.com)

Putting the two issues together is also a common sense move, unless one can’t shake the right-wing spin. For some Americans with limited resources, making it harder to vote will impair their ability to do so. And in this country, Black Americans are more likely to be over-represented in that group.

Sheila Jaeger, Punta Gorda

 Image Credits: WyoFile

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