Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper

Featured Op-Ed

The Battle for American Consciousness


The critical foundation, the most important right defining a democracy, the most important right defining our democracy is under attack! 

  Texas, Georgia and many other states have decided to put new restrictions and new burdens and new impositions and new obstacles to voting, with Georgia having many new draconian policies such as “making drop ballot boxes accessible only during early voting hours and only allowing ballots to be requested at the earliest, 78 (compared to 180) days before an election. State government officials will no longer be able to send unsolicited ballot request forms to voters, with only those voters who request absentee ballots receiving them. Food and drink distribution to voters in line by non-polls workers are banned” (CBS News).

  Many claim that these restrictions are for “for the sanctity of democracy and of the voting process.” 

  But are they? Are they solving a problem that actually exists or are they simply just trying to depress voting, an already huge problem as a stunning 1/3 of the eligible voters did not vote in the recent presidential election (Pew Research Center).

  The ⅔ of the eligible voters actually voting in the most recent presidential election is 7% higher than in the 2016 presidential election, which was actually one of the more participated elections in US history (Pew Research Center). We as a nation, as a people, as a group were actually remedying one of the biggest problems that this nation faces:a lack of accountability in the government due to people’s reluctance and unwillingness to exercise their rights to vote and have their voice heard. 

  Democracy relies on people voting and holding the government accountable. Democracy relies on the citizens making sure their voice is heard and that the government represents their interests and is leading the nation and its people to prosperity. Democracy relies on citizens voting, that is what makes democracy, the greatest form of government available in the world. A big factor in America fulfilling the very foundation of democracy was according to the Pew Research center, “The dramatic steps many states took to expanding mail balloting and early voting access” (Pew Research Center). 

 We were reforming this critical and crucial process at a time when the nation felt unable to conduct any new meaningful reform, and yet that all seems in vain now, as many states are making it harder to vote rather than easier. I actually agree that the security of the voting process must be maintained and actually improved, but the security of the voting process must and cannot not, be empowered to be cannibalistic and eat at voter participation and vote representativeness, which I believe is occurring with the Georgia law, Florida law, Texas law and many other state laws regarding voting.

  We must invest in cybersecurity for the voting process, we must invest in physical security for the voting process, we must invest in gathering and collecting and reading the votes in a fair manner. But, we must not allow that interest in security to cause voter participation to be depressed, to be lowered, to be discouraged and to be thrown out. 

  We cannot allow the possibility and/or fear of fraud in the voting process to coerce us to make voting harder, and have less eligible voters actually vote, for as one respected Upper Merion individual told me “Voting is the single most important thing we can do”. We are a nation of democracy, please allow us citizens to have the ability to be conscious and to hold our government accountable to us, the people of the United States. 


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